Scientists found the skull and tusks of a gomphothere - an ancestor of the elephant - in the central state of Tlaxcala, Mexico's National Institute and History, or INAH, said.

The remains are at least 10,000 years old, according to INAH.

The bones were discovered in late May amid deposits of volcanic sand encrusted by thick layers of limestone, Dr. Aurelio Lopez Corral of INAH's Tlaxcala center said.

The skull and tusks measure about 2 meters (6.5 ft.), relatively small for a gomphothere, possibly indicating that they came from a young animal.

Gomphotheres were comparable in size to modern elephants.

Workers extracting sand for restoration of the Tepeticpac archaeological site stumbled upon the tip of one of the tusks and alerted INAH, which authorized an excavation. EFE