12,000-year-old remains of elephant relative found in Chile

STORY: These 12,000-year-old remains are from

an extinct relative of the modern elephant

Gomphotheres roamed southern

Chile thousands of years ago

The animals weighed almost 4.5 tons

and could reach 9.8 feet tall

Scientists hypothesize they might

have been the target of group hunts

(Carlos Tornero, Archeologist)

"The hypothesis we're working with is that it's about hunting, hunting events. We think this because the Gomphothere is a very large animal and dangerous, and it probably required several people (to hunt)."

The discovery could also allow scientists to

learn about the wider human impact on the region

(Elisa Calas, Archeologist)

"We can get a lot of information from here, for example, with regards to climate change, how it affected animals. The influence humans had on the environment which is very in line with what's happening now in terms of the environment."