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While it was known that the giant woolly mammoth is the ancestor of the modern-day elephant, very little was known about how and when the modern day elephant and other mammals evolved following the demise of the dinosaurs, about 65 million years ago.
Now thanks to a 60-million year-old fossil found in Morocco, scientists believe that they may have some insights. The skull found belongs to a trunk-less animal that paleontologists believe measured less than 2ft from tip to tail and weighed less than 11lbs.
While it looks nothing like our modern day nelly, scientists believe that its jutting front incisor teeth are the beginnings of the tusks of the modern-day elephant - And that this creature was indeed the first evolution of the mammal after the dinosaurs disappeared.
Besides being ten million years older than any other elephant fossil find, the skull also indicates that new species of animals and rodents, the direct predecessors to our modern animals, started to develop just six million years after the dinosaur era, much sooner than scientists had previously estimated.
sources: telegraph.co.uk, nationalgeographic.com