The winter is slowly ending; snow is melting and we dedicate a short piece to one of the largest mammals from the last Ice Age – the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius).
|The mandible of woolly mammoth from Europeana|
During the late Pleistocene, Mammuthus primigenius occupied the grassland areas of Eurasia and North America. This mammal, closely related to today’s Indian elephant, grew to 4.5 m and could weigh up to 4000 kg. It fed mainly on different sorts of grass. The hair of Mammuthus primigenius was up to 60 cm long and its color ranged from tawny through brown to black. In addition to bones, scientists have recovered much information about Mammuthus primigenius from frozen specimens in Siberian permafrost.
As a matter of fact, it is not true that all Woolly Mammoths were large animals. The dwarf subspecies of Mammuthus primigenius grew only to 1.8 m in height. This small chap occupied Wrangel Island from approximately 10,000 to 2,000 years BC! So these dwarf mammoths lived during the times of building the Egyptian pyramids.
|Collection of bones of woolly mammoths from Europeana|
|The mammoth from BHL|
If you are interested in these prehistoric creatures, you can find great collections on Europeana portal. Stay tuned!