The woolly mammoth was not the only type of mammoth that once roamed the planet – there were others. Some were smaller, while others were much larger and with longer tusks. In this article, you will learn more about the different species of mammoths from the past, as well as other information regarding the woolly mammoth, such as the preservation of the creatures.
A Colorful Bunch
The fur of the woolly mammoths ranged in color – from blonde to dark brown.
Relatives of the Mammoth
Mammoths were members of the same order as mastodons and modern elephants – called Proboscidea. The mammoths are especially closely related to living elephants, such as the Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus).
The woolly mammoth was equipped with a hump of fat located behind its domed-shaped head. These are the features of the creature that gives it a sloping back appearance.
The Diet of the Mammoth
Although the woolly mammoth was large in size, they were not carnivores. The diet of the mammoth consisted of plants. They ate willow, fir, and alder leaves, as well as the leaves from any bushes that they came across. The reason why scientists are able to deduce the diet of the woolly mammoth is because complete remains of the dead animals have been located in Siberia. Researchers have been able to view the contents of the stomach to see what kinds of leaves the creature ate when it was alive.
Woolly Mammoths Compared to Other Species
The woolly mammoth (M. primigenius) lived from the late Pleistocene era in Europe and North America. It could reach a height of 9 feet or 2.7 meters tall. This is how the woolly species stacked up to their relatives:
· Known as the flat-browed mammoth, the M. planifrons lived during the Pleistocene days in India.
· The Southern mammoth (M. meridionalis) came from the early Pleistocene Europe and is considered one of the first mammoths. This species reached a height of 15 ft or 4.5 meters tall.
· The imperial mammoth dates back to the days of early Pleistocene North America, which was about 2,000,000 years ago. The M. imperator could get as large as 13 feet or 4 meters tall in height. The tusks could grow just as long.
· Hailing from late Pleistocene North America, the M. columbi (also referred to as the Columbia mammoth) developed twisted tusks and could grow to reach 12 feet or 3.7 meters tall.
· The M. trogontherii (known as the steppe mammoth) represents the middle Pleistocene central Europe days and could reach a height of 15 ft or 4.5 meters tall. With its tusks, these measurements increase to 17 ft or 5.2 meters long.
Since woolly mammoths lived in a region with extremely cold temperatures, the specimens that have been uncovered during the years have been intact – thanks to a little thing called permafrost. Specimens that have been uncovered in most northern parts of Siberia are in a mummified state that is encased in solid blocks of ice. Removing the remains of a preserved woolly mammoth are actually quite easy – it is keeping the remains from disintegrating once they are in a room temperature setting that is difficult.
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