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All About Mammoths
Woolly Mammoth Printout

Woolly Mammoth Label Me! Printout

Woolly Mammoth Read-and-Answer Quiz. Or the answers.


During the last Ice Age, there were many large, interesting mammals, like the saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, woolly rhinos, mastodons, and mammoths. These animals have long since gone extinct and are known mostly from fossils, from frozen, mummified carcasses, and even from ancient cave drawings.



Modern-day Indian elephants are related to Woolly Mammoths.
Mammoths (genus Mammuthus) are extinct elephant-like animals that were adapted to cold weather. These herbivores (plant-eaters) had long, dense hair and underfur, large ears (but much smaller than modern-day elephants), a long proboscis (nose), and long tusks. Both the males and the females had tusks; the tusks were really incisor teeth.

Mammoths lived from about 2 million years ago to 9,000 years ago, during the last ice age (the Pleistocene Epoch). This was millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct. These huge mammals lived throughout the world.

The various mammoths ranged in size from about 9 ft (2.7 m) tall to over 15 ft (4.5 m) tall. Some species had tusks that were straight, some had tusks that were curved. The longest tusks were over 17 feet (5.2 m) long. The tusks were used in mating rituals, for protection, and for digging in the snow for food.


In 1997, an entire mummified Woolly Mammoth was found in Siberian ice. It was removed in October, 1999, and transported to a frigid, underground cave where it will be carefully studied. Scientists hope to be able to clone this remarkable specimen.

Mammoths and Mastodons:
Mammoths had longer tusks than mastodons, a wider head, a sloping back, flat, chewing teeth, a trunk with two finger-like projections, and were mostly taller. Mastodons evolved earlier and lasted longer in geologic time.

Classification
Mammoths are mammmals and classified as follows: Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia (mammals)
Subclass Eutheria (Placental mammals)
Order Proboscidae
Suborder Elephantoidea (3 families, 2 of mastodonts and 1 of mammoths)
Family Elephantidae (mammoths and modern elephants)
Genus Mammuthus
Species

The Woolly Mammoth
Woolly Mammoths (scientific name Mammuthus primigenius) are extinct herbivorous mammals. These mammoths lived in the tundras of Asia, Europe, and North America. They are closely related to modern-day Indian elephants.

When they lived: Woolly Mammoths lived from the Pleistocene to the early Holocene epoch (from about 120,000 to 4,000 years ago), millions of years after the dinosaurs went extinct. People existed during the time of the mammoths. Cave paintings of the woolly mammoth have been found in France and Spain.

Anatomy and tusks: Woolly Mammoths had long, dense, dark black hair and underfur, long, curved tusks, a fatty hump, a long proboscis (nose), and large ears. They were about 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long, 9.5 feet (2.9 m) tall at the shoulder and weighed about 3 tons (2.75 tonnes). The tusks were used for protection, in interspecies dominance, and for digging in the snow of the ice ages for grass and other food. (Classification: Family Elephantidae)

Extinction: The Woolly Mammoth probably went extinct because it couldn't adapt to the combined pressures of the climatic warming that occured when the Ice Age ended, together with predation from humans.

Links
A printout about the Woolly Mammoth

Print out and label a Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammoth Read-and-Answer Quiz. Or go to the answers.

Ice Age Mammals

A printout about elephants

A printout on Indian/Asian elephants

A printout on African elephants

All About Mammals

Geological Time Chart




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