What if a creature like the woolly mammoth could roam the planet once again? Is that even possible? In this article, you will learn more about this prehistoric Ice Age creature, as well as the possibility of something like this coming to life once again with the help of advanced technology.
The Habitat of a Woolly Mammoth
During the Ice Ages, ice sheets covered large portions of northern Eurasia and North America. This is where the woolly mammoths called their home, as they lived on the flat tundra and grasslands south of the ice sheets. Scientists believe that the ice sheets were covered in grass, mosses, and shrubs. In order to survive, the mammoths needed to eat up to 700 pounds of vegetation on a daily basis to maintain their bodies.
Woolly Mammoth Skeleton in Milwaukee
It what is believed to be the most intact woolly mammoth skeleton uncovered in North America, a specimen dug up in 1994 is now a part of the Milwaukee Public Museum. The woolly mammoth on display dates back 14,500 years, and is one of few complete paleontological specimens of its kind. The Hebior mammoth skeleton nearly complete with the exception of a missing rib bone and a couple of bones in the feet and tail. When people stand next to the skeleton, it measures more than twice the height of the typical human.
Famous Woolly Mammoths
Just like the dinosaur world has famous specimens (such as Sue), researchers have nicknamed certain finds that have attracted a great deal of attention from the scientific world and public. In 1977, the remains of a baby mammoth dating back thousands of years ago in northeastern Siberia was given the name of Dima. A female calf found in Russia in 2007 was given the nickname of Lyuba.
Other Woolly Creatures
While woolly mammoths seem to take all the credit for representing their kind, they were not the only creatures to have ‘woolly’ features. Many animals living in the arctic started to evolve and develop fur over millions of years as a way to cope with the climate. At one time, there was such thing as a woolly rhino, which lived on the plains of Pleistocene Eurasia. Early humans, who probably preferred trying to capture a much smaller beast that weighed about one ton, also hunted this creature.
The Possibility of Cloning
In the future, there is a possibility that a scientist could clone a woolly mammoth. Since they became extinct relatively recently, they still have a close relation to the elephants of today. If a scientist were to harvest the DNA from a Mammuthus primigenius and successfully incubate it is the fetus of a living pachyderm, a clone of the woolly mammoth may one day wander the earth. As for dinosaurs, this is not a possibility since the DNA of the prehistoric creatures did not preserve well over tens of millions of years.