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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

The Woolly Mammoth: 5 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Woolly mammoth facts are captivating.

The woolly mammoth or Mammuthus primigenius is closely related to today’s elephants and comes closest to the Asian elephant. The woolly mammoth existed during the Pleistocene era and became extinct during the Holocene era. The woolly mammoths are assumed to be the last generation of mammoths, with the first one being the Mammuthus subplanifron which existed during the Pliocene and about 800,000 years ago it started to branch out from the Mammuthus trogontherii.

The woolly mammoth coexisted with the early humans which is very evident from the ancient cave paintings and the woolly mammoth tusks and bones which were used for weapons, dwellings, art, and various other tools. The peculiarities and demeanor of woolly mammoths have been sufficiently researched because of the excellent condition of the frozen remnants of the animals found in Alaska and Siberia.

The woolly mammoth's extinction occurred almost 10,000 years ago towards the demise of the Pleistocene era. However, a small group of woolly mammoths existed on St. Pauls Island while the other isolated herd of woolly mammoths survived on Wrangel Island some 4000 years back. The last woolly mammoth documented was on Wrangel Island itself before they become extinct.

If you want to know more interesting facts about the woolly mammoth then keep reading.

Also please check out articles about the musk ox and the buffalo as well.

Woolly Mammoth Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a woolly mammoth?

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is an extinct species that belongs to the faction of the elephant as discovered from their remaining fossils.

What class of animal does a woolly mammoth belong to?

The woolly mammoth pertains to the class of Mammals.

How many woolly mammoths are there in the world?

The woolly mammoth faced extinction towards the end of the last phase of the ice age and hence it is rather arduous to assert the aggregate exact number.

Where does a woolly mammoth live?

The Earth was diverse thousands of years ago and so were the climate and physical geography. The woolly mammoth typically inhabited the Earth’s most widespread biome which is known as the ‘Mammoth Steppe.'

What is a woolly mammoth's habitat?

The woolly mammoth habitat facts are concluded after years of research and in-depth study of the creature by experts. The ‘Mammoth Steppe’ also known as the ‘Tundra Steppe’ refers to the habitat covering the areas of Northern Asia, various parts of Europe, and the northern regions of North America during the Pleistocene which was very similar to modern Russia’s grass steppes. Since these areas were assumed as high-pressure regions during that period, they were not covered in ice, and hence they had more versatile flora. It is recently surmised that ‘forbs’ which is a species of herbaceous plant was crucial sustenance for the megafauna of the ice age.

However, a study has declared that the species of woolly mammoth started going extinct 45,000 years ago, inhabited the High Arctic.

The wooly mammoths of Siberia and the New World have illustrated that there were discrepancies in the climatic conditions on either side of the Bering Land Bride with more uniform frostiness in Siberia during the late ice-age period. After the extinction of the mainland wooly mammoths, they changed course to northeast Europe.

Who do woolly mammoths live with?

As they are related to the elephant so through various studies it is deduced that being very social and matriarchal Wooly Mammoths also lived in large herds.

How long does a woolly mammoth live?

The average life span of a woolly mammoth is estimated to be around 70 years.

How do they reproduce?

It is assumed that woolly mammoths reproduced in a similar way as elephants reproduce now through copulation. It took around 10-12 years for a woolly mammoth to be mature enough to reproduce and the gestation period was estimated to be 22 months.

What is their conservation status?

It’s been 10,000 years since the wooly mammoths started to go extinct. However, the woolly mammoth’s carcasses were well preserved under the permafrost. A considerable quantity of woolly mammoth fossils has been unearthed from the permafrost of the Arctic and various regions. A large number of woolly mammoths lived and walked on the surface of the earth once but it is rather tedious to determine the exact number of the woolly mammoths as the search for them is still on the Arctic.

Woolly Mammoth Fun Facts

What do woolly mammoths look like?

The Asian elephant is the nearest modern-day relative to the wooly mammoth

The woolly mammoths found which were well preserved under the permafrost have helped us to deduce their physical appearance. The woolly mammoth's size was about 132.20 in (335.28 cm) and its tusks were made of ivory and their age can be deduced by noticing the number of rings of the tusks. These humongous animals had lengthy thick double coats which helped them to adapt to the cold during the climate change as the thick brown hair kept them warm even in the severe cold of the Arctic. The Asian elephants can come closest to them according to DNA research ran by scientists in 2015.

How cute are they?

The woolly mammoths were large and furry they preserved and prototype can be seen in various museums, while some people may find them cute because of their shared resemblance with elephants the others may find intimidating because of their physical stature.

How do they communicate?

The woolly mammoths died thousands of years ago and scientists are still researching their demeanor and hence the method of communication of this animal is still implicit.

How big is a woolly mammoth?

The woolly Mammoths were giant animals who were 108 - 132.20 in (274.32 - 335.28 cm) and so they were twice the size of Asian Elephants.

How fast can a woolly mammoth run?

Elephants can run up to speeds of around 25mph, although there is no particular evidence of the woolly mammoths running, however as they belong to the same group as elephants we may consider that they could run, albeit slower than modern-day elephants due to their size.

How much does a woolly mammoth weigh?

The standard weight of a male woolly mammoth is around 13227.73 lb (6000 kg) while a female woolly mammoth is 8818.49 lb (4000 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Both the gender of this species are known as wooly mammoths.

What would you call a baby woolly mammoth?

The baby of a woolly mammoth is known as Lyuba.

What do they eat?

Woolly mammoths were herbivores and hence grasses were their main source of food other food sources include other varieties of plants and flowers.

Are they dangerous?

According to the records which inform us that these animals turned dangerous and aggressive when they were chased down and hunted.

Would they make a good pet?

It would be rather difficult to keep them as a pet as these mammoths lived an extremely wild lifestyle and they were humongous.

Did you know...

Here are some interesting woolly mammoth facts for kids as well as for an adult.

The first woolly mammoth skeleton was discovered in 1799 and it was assembled by Wilhelm Gottlieb Tilesius.

The ears of woolly mammoths covered in hair were significantly smaller in size than the ears of today’s elephants. The small ears covered in hair curbed heat loss in the cold Arctic.

The woolly mammoth tusk retains impressive value because the tusks are made of ivory same as elephant tusks and thus the search for the woolly mammoth tooth is continuing in the Arctic.

Once an 11-year-old boy named Yevgeny Salinder happened to unearth a well-preserved woolly mammoth fossil in Russia in 2012.

The average length of tusks of Woolly Mammoth is 180 in (457.2 cm) each.

Why did the woolly mammoth go extinct?

Numerous theories are surrounding the extinction of woolly mammoths and the two major reasons are the woolly mammoths died due to overhunting by the humans as they co-existed with humans. The second rational explanation is climate change which made the woolly mammoth unable to continue. However, a substantial amount of mammoth carcasses found in the Arctic supports the second theory while the drawings and artifacts and the remains of tools of the ancient human civilization subsidize the first theory.

Can we bring back the woolly mammoth?

The frozen woolly mammoth preserved carcasses that have been discovered from the Arctic and other regions are used to analyze their DNA by scientists. However, bringing back the woolly mammoth is rather a debatable question. Their DNA has been studied by various scientists and the idea of the woolly mammoth clone is favored by many scientists while others are against it as it is an extinct species and one should never challenge the laws of nature.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the Sumatran elephant and the Javan rhinoceros.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Woolly Mammoth coloring pages.

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