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Prehistoric woolly mammoth traveled 70,000km

By T.K. Randall
August 14, 2021 · Comment icon 2 comments

Mammoths traveled enormous distances. Image Credit: CC BY 2.5 Public Library of Science
Scientists have identified a mammoth that roamed a distance equivalent to circling the entire planet twice.
The extreme range of these gigantic Ice Age mammals has been realized for the first time thanks to a detailed analysis of mammoth tusks carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Alaska.

Mammoth tusks are a little bit like tree rings, storing information about the animal's life when it was alive and preserving chemical traces that can point to specific parts of the world.

By studying the tusks of a mammoth that lived 17,000 years ago, the team was able to determine that this particular animal managed to roam over 70,000km - almost twice the Earth's circumference.
"It's not clear-cut if it was a seasonal migrator, but it covered some serious ground," said study co-author Dr Matthew Wooller. "It visited many parts of Alaska at some point during its lifetime, which is pretty amazing when you think about how big that area is."

The mammoth, which was unearthed at the state's Brooks Range mountains, was thought to have been 28 years old when it died, which is around half the life expectancy of the species.

"From the moment they're born until the day they die, they've got a diary and it's written in their tusks," said co-author Dr Pat Druckenmiller.

"Mother Nature doesn't usually offer up such convenient and life-long records of an individual's life."

Source: BBC News | Comments (2)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by joc 3 years ago
I am reminded of a song I wrote a long time ago.  I Saw the Indians Coming 27,000 years ago, came Wooly Mammoth and Caribou...behind them Ancient Eskimos, destined to become the Sioux... Comanche, Apache, Iroquois and Illinois... Blackfoot, Choctaw, Shawnee, Cheyanne, Creek, and Cherokee.... One of my all time favorite creatures...The Wooley Mammoth
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 years ago
Wooly Mammoth's coming back We could rent a car He would never fit I'd be nice about it though I'd say "would you like to go for a walk?" yeah   We could take a skateboard Or roller skates or bikes He'd be way too slow Maybe we'll just go, for a walk, yeah                                                                               

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