The woolly Mammoth was an herbivorous mammal that lived in the cool and dry open steppe-tundra of the Northern Hemisphere from late Middle Pleistocene or earlier. The woolly mammoth is said to have been about the same height and weight as the Indian elephants, but its overall shape was clearly different. The hind legs were much shorter than the forelegs, which resulted in a distinct slope to the back. The skull was narrower from front to back than those of modern elephants and there was a large dome on the top. As specified by its name, the woolly mammoth had a dense coat of hair and its outer layer consisted of long, coarse guard hairs, while a dense layer of fine wool lay underneath. The ears of the woolly mammoth were also relatively small unlike that of its tropical descendants, due to the climate it lived in. As a result of its small ears the surface area of skin open to the elements was minimized. The tusks were significantly larger than those of modern elephants, sometimes exceeding 13.5 ft. in length. The Woolly Mammoth’s tusks were presumably a sexually selected characteristic: males who possessed longer and more impressive tusks were able to mate with more females. The tusks were also used as defense mechanisms against predators such as the saber-tooth tiger.
The earliest mammoths were recorded about 4 million years ago from several localities in Africa. Between 3 to 3.5 million years ago mammoths expanded into Europe. The first non-African species, the southern mammoth also known as Mammuthus meridionalis extended throughout much of Eurasia and entered North America in the early Pleistocene. It was about 14 ft. at the shoulder and lived in woodlands feeding mainly on tree and shrub browse. This extensively distributed ...
... middle of paper ...
...n but well preserved remain of a baby mammoth was found on the frozen Yuribei river. Another species of mammoth known as the Colombian mammoth has been found in places such as the Olympic peninsula and Oklahoma.
"Mammoth Mystery."On NET. Trailside Museum of Natural History, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
Nogués-Bravo, David, Jesús Rodríguez, Joaquín Hortal, Persaram Batra,, and Miguel B. Araújo. "Climate Change, Humans, and the Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth."PLOS Biology:. N.p., 1 Apr. 2008. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
"Waking The Baby Mammoth | Nat Geo Wild."Waking The Baby Mammoth | Nat Geo Wild. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
"Washington State Fossil - Columbian Mammoth."Washington State Fossil - Columbian Mammoth. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
"Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus Primigenius)."Web.archive.org. The Academy of Natural Sciences, n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2013.