Woolly mammoth Facts

Woolly mammoth Facts
Woolly mammoth is one of the best known prehistoric animals that lived during the Pleistocene. It is not the largest species of mammoth, but it is the most popular one due to numerous fossils, carcasses and pictures that have facilitated reconstruction of the morphology and lifestyle of this large animal. Fossils of woolly mammoth were found on all continents except in the Australia and South America. Most woolly mammoths died 10.000 years ago, but smaller group of 500 to 1.000 animals managed to survive until 1.650 years BC on the remote Wrangel Island in the Arctic. Woolly mammoth went extinct due to climate changes and uncontrolled hunting.
Interesting Woolly mammoth Facts:
Woolly mammoth was 9 to 11 feet tall and it weighted 5 to 7 tons.
Asian elephant is the closest living relative of woolly mammoth.
Woolly mammoth had long, shaggy, light to dark brown or black coat and thick layer of fat (of 4 inches) under the skin to prevent freezing in the extremely cold environment.
Woolly mammoth had large head, massive body with sloping backs and large humps on the shoulders. It had smaller ears and shorter tail than elephants to prevent heat loss and frostbites.
Woolly mammoth had large, curved and asymmetrical tusks that were 10 to 15 feet long. Tusks were used for fight with other males and for the protection against predators such as wolves, wild cats and cave hyenas.
Tusks of woolly mammoth can be used to determine the age (number of rings on the cross section), health condition (thinness or thickness of the ring), and time of the year when animal died (dark rings were characteristic for the summer).
Diet of woolly mammoth was based on the leaves, fruits, berries, nuts, and twigs.
Woolly mammoth had lived and traveled in large family groups led by the oldest female.
An average lifespan of woolly mammoth was 60 years.
First complete skeleton of woolly mammoth was found in 1799. German naturalist Wilhelm Gottlieb Tilesius von Tilenau successfully assembled all the bones except the tusks (tips of the tusks were positioned outwards).
Woolly mammoths trapped in the large pieces of ice managed to "survive" till modern days with intact muscles and blood tissue.
Tusks of woolly mammoth are the only type of ivory that can be legally sold today (unlike elephant ivory). Thanks to the price of 400 dollars per pound, tusks of woolly mammoth are very popular among tusks-hunters.
French adventurers have used well-preserved carcasses of mammoth as a source of food during the expeditions to the North Pole in the 19th century.
Woolly mammoths were very popular among neolithic artists. Only Rouffignac cave in France is home of 158 pictures of woolly mammoth.
Woolly mammoths were very important for the people. They served as a source of meat, bones and tusks that were used for the manufacture of art objects, music instruments, tools, furniture and shelters.

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