This cast sits in a quiet corner of the Waco Mammoth Site. It is a replica of Mammoth J's skull. She was one of the adult females in our nursery herd.
Paleontologists talk about pathology, looking at details in bones for signs of disease or deformity. J has a severely shortened tusk, which made her daily tasks more difficult and also affected her posture. Like a shortened limb, J's broken tusk was a disability.
We could stop there, but J has more to tell us. On closer inspection, the end of J's short tusk has more wear than the end of her longer one. It is possible she favored it, making her a lefty! Looking at her teeth, we learn she is the oldest member of the herd we have found so far, around 55-years-old. This tells us she did very well at adapting to her circumstances.
In other words, J was a really tough gal.