When we think about the mammoth, we picture the 3-meter-high, 6-ton beast roaming northern Europe in imposing herds, fending off human hunters with their dangerous tusks. We don’t imagine genetically deformed creatures stumbling through a doomed landscape, going to desperate lengths to stay alive in a rapidly changing world. But now, an unusual feature on some mammoth fossils dredged from the North Sea suggests that inbreeding may have hastened the mammoth’s extinction 10,000 years ago.
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