The remains of a woolly mammoth have been discovered on the Queen’s Scottish estate Balmoral.
The bones were found by a workman as he made holes for a new fishing loch in the estate’s grounds.
Among the items uncovered are a fossilised molar tooth and a knee joint, and the queen is said to be “excited” by the discovery.
The bones were dug up in a bog situated about 500 yards from Birkhall, the house the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall use when they visit the estate.
A royal insider said: “It’s jolly intriguing. Both Balmoral and Birkhall have been asked to be kept up to speed with developments.”
The remains, which were uncovered earlier this year, were initially given to local organisation the Ballater History Group, which handed them to the University of Aberdeen. They are now set to undergo radiocarbon tests to ascertain their age.
A spokesman for the Ballater History Group said: “One is part of a tooth of a mammoth and the other the knuckle or knee of a similar extinct mammal.
“Tests are underway at the university to see if they can discover the age of these fossils and their origin.”
Scientists from the university may travel to the site to look for the rest of the animal.
Before the discovery it was thought woolly mammoths – which became extinct around 2,000 BC – had not lived in the north of Britain. Bones dating back about 50,000 years were uncovered in the Cotswolds in 2004, while three skeletons were found in Norfolk in 2008.