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Mammoths survived until just 4,000 years ago


Posted on Thursday, 10 October, 2019 | Comment icon 19 comments

Mammoths almost made it to modern times. Image Credit: CC BY 2.5 Public Library of Science
A population of woolly mammoths still roamed the Earth at the time the Egyptian pyramids were being built.
Perhaps the most recognizable of all extinct Ice Age mammals, the majestic woolly mammoth is often associated with a time long before modern human civilization started to appear on the scene.

Incredibly however, despite most mammoths disappearing between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago, a few isolated populations managed to hold on against all the odds.

Now according to a new study by an international team of scientists, the last remaining population of mammoths survived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean up until 4,000 years ago.

By examining the isotope compositions of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and strontium from their bones, the researchers were able to determine that, unlike other isolated mammoth populations that died out due to environmental changes, the Wrangel Island mammoths may have instead succumbed to a sudden series of events - perhaps extreme weather conditions or an encroachment by human hunters.

"It's easy to imagine that the population, perhaps already weakened by genetic deterioration and drinking water quality issues could have succumbed after something like an extreme weather event," said study co-author Prof Herve Bocherens from the University of Tubingen.

Source: SciTech Daily | Comments (19)

Tags: Mammoth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by Carnoferox on 11 October, 2019, 14:29
Then there would be clear evidence of this. Dinosaurs were extremely common in the fossil record for 100+ million years, but then we find none of them after 66 Ma. If they had survived we should expect to find their fossils intermingled with Cenozoic mammals including humans.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Mr.United_Nations on 11 October, 2019, 16:31
This has been known for years but I believe these were miniature mammoths? 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Jaded1 on 11 October, 2019, 19:42
Yeah, a classic case of island dwarfism. I remember the 4000 year old date being mentioned some years ago but the news is probably being regurgitated due to the international research team's extinction scenario reconstruction (which is new).
Comment icon #13 Posted by RoofGardener on 11 October, 2019, 19:58
  A dwarf mammoth ? ROFL.. isn't that a contradiction in terms ?  
Comment icon #14 Posted by ThereWeAreThen on 12 October, 2019, 23:50
Scientists don't think they know everything. They read what the data tells them with a load of tests. They often admit they've got something wrong.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Roshman on 14 October, 2019, 16:19
Old news. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/last-wooly-mammoths-died-isolated-and-alone-180955208/
Comment icon #16 Posted by Hammerclaw on 14 October, 2019, 17:52
Wrangel Island was originally part of the Alaska purchase, but ceded back to Russia after the Russian Revolution.
Comment icon #17 Posted by jaylemurph on 15 October, 2019, 3:36
/Somebody/ never saw 10,000 BC[E].   —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #18 Posted by jaylemurph on 15 October, 2019, 3:38
I think a more likely scenario is that you don’t understand what history /is/.    —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #19 Posted by Carnoferox on 15 October, 2019, 4:07
Oh god not that movie. I could go on for days picking apart the inaccuracies!


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