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Saturday, 12 March 2016

Mammoth

EXTINCTION

Most mammoths died out about 10,000 years ago as a result of a combination of man's hunting, global warming and maybe the Great Flood.

A colony of smaller mammoths, who lived on what is now Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean, survived much longer and only died out about 1700 BC. This was 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.

For hundreds of years, mammoth bones found in Europe were thought to be the bones of giants.

On January 13, 1951, mammoth meat was allegedly served during the annual dinner of The Explorers Club in New York. It was claimed to have been taken from a frozen carcass found on an island off Alaska.

In May 2007, a frozen mammoth calf was discovered in the Yamal Peninsula in Western Siberia (see below).

By Matt Howry from Ardmore, OK, USA - IMG_2718 Uploaded by FunkMonk, Wikipedia Commons

It is thought 150 million mammoths are still buried under the permafrost.

The mammoth's age can be easily discovered from the rings of its tusk, much like looking at the rings of a tree.

ANATOMY

Mammoths are more closely related to Asian Elephants than to African Elephants.

Though they weighed up to eight tons as adults, woolly mammoths were no larger than today's Asian elephants (up to 3.5m at the shoulder).


The woolly mammoth's ears measured one fifth the size of an African elephants at only 30cm (1ft) wide, minimizing frostbite and heat-loss.

Scientists estimate mammoths would have had to eat around 500 lbs (225kg) of vegetation every day.

The mammoth would go through six sets of teeth in their 80-year lifespan.

Some of the hairs on woolly mammoths could reach up to three feet long.

Woolly mammoths had a hump of fat, much like those seen in modern-day camels, that would have helped them store energy during long winters.

IVORY

Mammoth ivory, which is often found preserved in ice, is considered a legal and ethical alternative to elephant tusks. Each tusk can fetch as much as $77,500 (£50,000)

The oldest boomerang found was in Olazowa Cave in Poland. Made out of a Mammoth tusk, it is has been dated to be about 30,000 years old.

In prehistoric Siberian settlements ivory taken from mammoths was carved into tiny beads related in form to the so-called Venus figurines produced by prehistoric cultures.

Mammoth hair is sold on the black market for $50 an inch.

Sources Radio Times, Daily Mail

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