A Mammoth Dilemma Essay

A Mammoth Dilemma Essay

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The Pleistocene epoch spanned from 1.8 million years ago to 10,000 years ago [1]. Many genera and even species such as conifers, mosses, flowering plants, insects, mollusks, birds, and mammals from that era still survive today [1]. Others, such as the long-horned bison, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and the mammoth did not survive [1].
The woolly mammoth was a commonly found mammal during the last ice age [2]. These animals were similar in size to elephants but were adapted for living in the extremely cold conditions typical of an ice age [2]. The mammoths used their large tusks to brush away snow in their search for food and secreted oil that covered their fur and insulated them from the cold [2]. Mammoths had narrower skulls, shorter tails, and smaller ears than today’s elephants, and they were covered in a full coat of coarse hair [2].
Mammoths went extinct approximately 4,000 years ago after their numbers began to dwindle about 10,000 years ago [2]. Mammoth fossils have been uncovered on every continent except for South America and Australia [2]. It is not entirely clear what led to the extinction of the mammoth [2]. Some of the current theories for their extinction include climate change, meteorites or comets, and predation by humans [2].
The most recognized reason for the mammoth’s disappearance is that as the Earth warmed, the climate became too much for the mammoths to handle as they had evolved in a cold environment [2]. It is also possible that the global climate change led to the extinction of some of the mammoth’s vital mineral-supplying plants which in turn led to the extinction of the mammoth [2].
Researchers have also found some evidence of an asteroid hitting the Earth which may have resulted in a mas...


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...son, N. (2013, Oct 2). Will mammoths be brought back to life? liquid blood find fuels cloning hopes.CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/30/world/asia/siberia-mammoth-blood-discovery/

[10] Switek, B. (2013, March 19). Reinventing the mammoth. Retrieved from http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/03/19/reinventing-the-mammoth/

[11] Lagutina, I., Fulka, H., Lazzari, G., & Galli, C. (2013). Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer: advancements and problems. doi: 10.3.1.65

[12] Pina-Aguilar, R. E., Lopez-Saucedo, J., Sheffield, R., Ruiz-Galaz, L. I., Barroso-Padilla, J. J., & Gutierrez, A. (2009). Revival of extinct species using nuclear transfer: Hope for the mammoth, true for the pyrenean ibex, but is it time for "conservation cloning"?. Cloning and Stem Cells, 11(3), 341-346.

[13] Tait, M. (2001). Jurassic conservation?. Utne Reader, (105), 32.

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