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One of the most awesome and most famous mammals of all extinct animals, the Woolly Mammoths, the long-lost relative of modern-day elephants.
— Allen, about the Woolly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is a genus of mammoth that originated during the Middle Pleistocene epoch in what is now the Northern Hemisphere. Standing nearly 5 meters tall and weighing 10 tons, the Woolly Mammoth looked much like an elephant but was covered in thick fur, as it lived in the Ice Age. One of the many species of prehistoric elephantids, the Woolly mammoth is among the most famous prehistoric extinct mammalian animals of all time.

FactsEdit

Era & DiscoveryEdit

The Woolly Mammoth lived during the Late Pleistocene, around 400,000 years ago. Until recently, it was generally assumed that the last Woolly Mammoths vanished from Europe and Southern Siberia during the Late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago. However, new findings show that some were still present there about 1,700 years ago. When the ice age retreated, mammoth populations decreased dramatically.

Woolly Mammoths evolved from hairless ancestors in Africa and have become living fortresses against the cold. The Woolly mammoth was occasionally hunted by Palaeolithic hunters, who also painted it on the walls of caves, engraved its likeness in bony and ivory and made statuettes of it.

Whilst Mammoth populations decreased due to the climate change, it was being over-hunted by early humans that drove them to extinction. Ever since their first discovery in 1779, the Woolly Mammoth has become known for being one of the most, if not, the most famous and endangered prehistoric terrestrial mammal of all time, possibly next to, if not just as, famous as the infamous Tyrannosaurus rex.

Scientists have found frozen mammoths in Siberia - some so well preserved, like Dyma the baby mammoth and the Jarkov Mammoth a frozen mammoth with few inches of wool.

Physical AttributesEdit

  • Male Mammoth
  • Female Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth was a giant hairy elephant-like creature, one of the largest land mammals the world had ever seen. They grew to stand about 9–15 feet (2.7–4.5 m) tall and weighed up to 6–12 tons (12,000–24,000 lbs.), making them the largest land animals of their ecosystem.

Woolly mammoths had a number of adaptations used to cope with the coldest weather conditions, most famously the thick layer of shaggy fur on its body, up to 1 meter in length with a fine underwool as well as a thick layer of fat, for which the Woolly mammoth is named. Woolly mammoths, however, would have had trouble living in a sub-tropical climate but having a haircut would help it cope with the temperatures. Additionally, the coats molted in summer to cool off, otherwise, the Woolly mammoth would overheat and die. They also had far smaller ears than modern elephants; the largest Woolly Mammoth ear found so far was only 30 cm (12 in) long, compared to 180 cm (71 in) for an African elephant. Other characteristic features included a high, peaked head that appears knob-like in many cave paintings and a high shoulder hump resulting from long spines on the neck vertebrae that probably carried fat deposits.

Another feature, at times found in cave paintings, was confirmed by the discovery of the mummified remains of a baby mammoth. Unlike the trunk lobes of living elephants, Dima's upper lip at the tip of the trunk had a broad lobe feature, while the lower lip had a broad, squarish flap. Additionally, the trunk of a Woolly Mammoth was strong enough to pull Calves out of thick layers of mud, with the help of their tusks. 

And mammoths needed to eat a lot of vegetation. Sometimes, they had to have 180–200 kg of grass, twice a man’s weight in food, sixteen hours a day every single day. They would feed on plains and grasslands, eating grasses, mosses, etc. Woolly mammoths could also make a grumbling sound with their stomachs, and they used that to communicate with their herd mates, even if they are dead, they try. If their heads were held low and their ears close to their heads, it could also mean that they were sick. If you saw even two adult mammoths that looked similar to each other they were probably females from the same herd. They were more social than the males were and had much smaller tusks than the males. Another important difference between mammoths and most other elephants was the blubber, reaching 10 cm (4 inches) thick.

Behavior & TraitsEdit

1000px-1x2 MammothHerd

Mammoth herd

Woolly Mammoths were highly social animals and as such, like all kinds of herbivorous animals, they lived and traveled in huge herds of dozens, hundreds, even thousands of individuals, ranging from calves to adult females. The herd was made up of mothers, calves, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, making the whole herd almost entirely of females, with some male calves and adolescences. But once males reached a certain age, they left the heard to make it on their own. Therefore, males lived a solitary life, only returning to a herd to reproduce. Just like modern-day elephants, Woolly Mammoths had a strong bond between members of the herd.

If an individual female was separated from the rest of its herd, the mammoth would not only suffer death slowly from a loner's life but also probably hunted by predators. Like other Mammoths (and similar to modern-day elephants), Woolly Mammoths herds were led by a Matriarch. The Matriarch would be 50 to 60 years of age and it was her experience that ensured the survival of the whole herd anytime the going got tough, and she maintained cohesiveness in the herd. They stopped when she stopped, slept when she slept, and fed and drank when she did. Whenever there was trouble, such as a calf being stuck in the mud, the Matriarch came in to help. If a member of the herd died, then another member would stay behind. Insects were a source of irritation for these animals and the mud Woolly Mammoths spray on their head prevented the insects from biting or Woolly Mammoths did it just for the fun of it.

During mating season, male Woolly Mammoths (or bulls) would undergo musth like modern-day elephants. In the process, they would undergo massive testosterone surges and they would become extremely aggressive. They would even trample on harmless neighboring animals, picking up warning fights with other animals such as Elasmotherium. Woolly Mammoths also had the ability to live in the herds of other species in the past, that is unless if they were brought back to present day, they would manage to live along with other animals such as African elephants. However, they would have to be approved by the matriarch. Even when approved, the Woolly Mammoth would not be able to interact with the calves (logically due to the fact that elephants can't survive among strangers). 

Journal EntryEdit

Known for being arguably among the most famous prehistoric mammalian animal of all time, the Woolly Mammoth is a giant, hairy, elephant-like creature. More than 15 feet tall at maximum and as heavy as 12 tons, Mammoths were very large creatures. Although overall the same physical description as Elephants, several differences are the Mammoths not only have hair nor are just larger, they also have smaller ears, more layer of fat beneath their skin than elephants, and possess larger tusks.

Also, like Elephants, the Woolly Mammoth lived in herds, sometimes in the dozens, hundreds, and even thousands range, that was led by the Matriarch. Mammoth herds were made up almost entirely of females; mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers. However, they did have male calves and even male adolescents. Once the male mammoth reaches a certain age in adulthood, they would leave the herd they were a part of and go it in the world alone. Mammoths also have very strong bonds between members of their herd. For example, when a member of the herd had fallen, some would not leave that fallen member, especially if it was family. Also, whereas male mammoths are use to being on their own, the female always need companionship, as they never do well alone.

Mammoths also ate a lot of food to gain the fat they needed that they used as an incubation to keep them warm, as they were Ice Age creatures. They needed to eat twice a mans weight in food every single day, feeding on plain and grasslands. Also on a hot day or just to get rid of irritating flies around their heads or maybe even just for the fun of it, Mammoths would find bodies of water and spray themselves with that water to get rid of the flies.

Mammoths, like the Iguanodon dinosaurs before them, were very successful creatures. Roaming the lands of the Ice Age for thousands of years. But as recent as 30 millennia ago, early Ice Age humans began hunting mammoth’s for food and for their hair to keep warm. Some evidence suggests that Mammoths lived as recently as over 1500 years ago. Whilst climate change during the Ice Age decreased their populations, being hunted by humans is what drove the Woolly Mammoth into extinction.

— Allen, in his Journal, about the Woolly Mammoth

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The sound effects for the Woolly Mammoth are that of typical sounds for an elephant as well as other similar sound effects.
  • The Woolly Mammoth was the last prehistoric creature brought to the park.
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