Thinking of Paris for most people means the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, the fabulous shops of the Champs Elysées and the art of the Louvre.
The buzz at the end of 2012 though was all about woolly mammoths (Mammuthus Primigenius), since one was found by archaeologists working at Changis-sur-Marne in the department of Seine-et-Marne, 50km east of Paris.
Believed to be between 200,000 and 500,000 years old, the skeleton of the young mammoth (approximately 20 years old) is said to be almost complete and estimates put his weight at about 500kg.
The presence of mammoths in France is well documented through cave art such as at Chauvet, in the Ardèche Valley and at Lascaux in the Dordogne, both southern France. The Paris discovery though is only the third set of archaeological remains to have been discovered in the last 150 years in France. The mammoth skeleton is on show at the Paris Natural History Museum.