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Adopt a whole family of ice-age mammoths

A rare family of four well-preserved mammoths, including a baby, are up for sale, which makes for quite the ice-age menagerie.

The auction house would like to keep this mammoth family together if possible.

Summers Place Auctions

Other people have dogs and cats. You could have a whole family of ice-age mammoths.

Construction workers in Siberia first stumbled on a group of mammoth bones in 2002. An excavation revealed an adult male, an adult female, a "teenage" female and a 1-year-old baby. The bones are estimated to be around 10,000 years old. The family went on a European exhibition tour from 2004 to 2007, but is now up for sale as a set.

UK-based Summers Place Auctions originally put the mammoths up for bid on Tuesday, but no one bid at the minimum price, so the family is still available for purchase. Summers Place had expected bidding to reach around $330,000 (£250,000, AU$440,000) to $530,000 (£400,000, AU$700,000). 

"The auction house had hoped that this rare opportunity and the low estimate would have encouraged museums around the world to bid for this ice-age family," a representative for the auction house said.

The baby mammoth is especially rare. "This particular baby is probably only the second relatively complete skeletal example in the world," Summers Place notes

It's unknown exactly how the mammoths met their doom, but the auction house suggests a rapid natural disaster of some sort was the likely culprit.

Interested museums or individuals can contact Summers Place directly. If the bones aren't sold together as a set, they may eventually be broken up and sold as individual mammoths.