Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was a species of mammoth, the common name for the extinct elephant genus Mammuthus. The woolly mammoth was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene. M. primigenius diverged from the steppe mammoth, M. trogontherii, about 200,000 years ago in eastern Asia. Its closest extant relative is the Asian elephant.

The appearance and behaviour of this species are among the best studied of any prehistoric animal due to the discovery of frozen carcasses in Siberia and Alaska, as well as skeletons, teeth, stomach contents, dung, and depiction from life in prehistoric cave paintings. Mammoth remains had long been known in Asia before they became known to Europeans in the 17th century. The origin of these remains was long a matter of debate, and often explained as being remains of legendary creatures. The animal was only identified as an extinct species of elephant by Georges Cuvier in 1796.

The woolly mammoth was roughly the same size as modern African elephants. Males reached shoulder heights between 2.7 and 3.4 m (9 and 11 ft) and weighed up to 6 tonnes (6.6 tons). Females averaged 2.6–2.9 metres (8.5–9.5 ft) in height. A newborn calf weighed about 90 kilograms (200 lb). The woolly mammoth was well adapted to the cold environment during the last ice age. It was covered in fur, with an outer covering of long guard hairs and a shorter undercoat. The colour of the coat varied from dark to light. The ears and tail were short to minimise frostbite and heat loss. It had long, curved tusks and four molars, which were replaced six times during the lifetime of an individual. Its behaviour was similar to that of modern elephants, and it used its tusks and trunk for manipulating objects, fighting, and foraging. The diet of the woolly mammoth was mainly grass and sedges. Specimens could probably reach the age of 60. Its habitat was the mammoth steppe, which stretched across northern Eurasia and North America.

The woolly mammoth coexisted with early humans, who used its bones and tusks for making art, tools, and dwellings, and the species was also hunted for food. It disappeared from its mainland range at the end of the Pleistocene 10,000 years ago, most likely through a combination of climate change, consequent disappearance of its habitat, and hunting by humans, though the significance of these factors is disputed. Isolated populations survived on Wrangel Island until 4,000 years ago, and on St. Paul Island until 6,400 years ago. After its extinction, humans continued using its ivory as a raw material, and this tradition continues today. It has been proposed the species could be recreated through cloning, but this method is as yet infeasible due to the degraded state of the remaining genetic material. The ethics of such an operation have also been questioned.

Read more about Woolly MammothTaxonomy, Description, Palaeobiology, Distribution and Habitat, Relationship With Humans, Extinction, Frozen Specimens, Cultural Significance

Other articles related to "woolly mammoth, mammoths, woolly mammoths, mammoth":

Woolly Mammoth - Cultural Significance - Cryptozoology
... There have been occasional claims that the woolly mammoth is not extinct, and that small isolated herds might survive in the vast and sparsely inhabited tundra of the Northern ... Gallon added that the fur-trapper had not heard of mammoths, and that he had talked about the "elephants" as forest animals, at a time when they were seen as living ... area of Siberia, it cannot be completely ruled out that woolly mammoths survived into more recent times, but all evidence indicates they went extinct ...
Lyuba - Taxonomy - Evolution
... and includes the living elephants and the mammoths ... clades, the mastodon is only a distant relative of the mammoths, and part of the separate mammutidae family which diverged 25 million years before the mammoths evolved ... Since many remains of each species of mammoth are known from several localities, it is possible to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the genus through morphological studies ...
Lyuba
... The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was a species of mammoth, the common name for the extinct elephant genus Mammuthus ... The woolly mammoth was one of the latest in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene ... primigenius itself diverged from the steppe mammoth, M ...
Lyuba - Possible Resurrection
... The existence of preserved soft tissue remains and DNA of woolly mammoths has led to the idea that the species could be recreated by scientific means ... egg cell of a female elephant, and replace it with nuclei cells from woolly mammoth tissue ... and the resulting calf would then be a perfect copy of the woolly mammoth the DNA was extracted from ...
Lyuba - Physical Remains - Frozen Specimens
... Preserved frozen remains of woolly mammoths, with much soft tissue remaining, have been found in the northern parts of Siberia and Alaska ... Mammoths may have been trapped in bogs or quicksands and either died of starvation or exposure, or drowning if they sank under the surface ... than 8,000 bones from at least 140 individual mammoths have been found in a single spot, apparently having been swept there by the current ...

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