mammoth

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mammoth,

name for several large prehistoric relatives (genus Mammuthus) of modern elephantselephant,
largest living land mammal, found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Elephants have massive bodies and heads, thick, pillarlike legs, and broad, short padded feet, with toes bearing heavy, hooflike nails. The gray skin is loose, tough, thick, and nearly hairless.
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 which ranged over Eurasia and North America in the Pleistocene epoch. The shoulder height of the Siberian, or woolly, mammoth, which roamed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, was about 9 ft (2.7 m), and that of the imperial mammoth of the North American Great Plains was up to 13 1-2 ft (4.1 m). Mammoths were covered by a long, shaggy, black outer coat and a dense, woolly undercoat. They had complex, many-ridged molar teeth; long, slender upward-curved tusks; and a long trunk. Ivory hunters have collected their tusks for centuries (and continue to collect them) in Siberia, where tens of thousands have been discovered; it is from these and from the drawings left by the Cro-Magnon people in the caves of S France that the mammoth's appearance is known. Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) people hunted mammoths, as is evidenced by remains of the animals found together with tools, and may have contributed to their extinction. The last population, on Wrangel Island, Russia, in the Arctic, survived until c.5,000 years ago. Mammoths are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Proboscidea, family Elephantidae.

mammoth

[′mam·əth]
(paleontology)
Any of various large Pleistocene elephants having long, upcurved tusks and a heavy coat of hair.

mammoth

any large extinct elephant of the Pleistocene genus Mammuthus (or Elephas), such as M. primigenius (woolly mammoth), having a hairy coat and long curved tusks
References in classic literature ?
My mammoth enemy was so close by this time that I knew I must feel the weight of one of his terrible paws before I could rise, but to my surprise the blow did not fall upon me.
From behind my boulder I threw up the heavy express rifle--a mighty engine of destruction that might bring down a cave bear or a mammoth at a single shot--and let drive at the Sagoth's broad, hairy breast.
A gorgeous, barbaric procession of painted warriors in jewel-studded harness and waving feathers; vicious, squealing thoats caparisoned in rich trappings; far above their heads the long lances of their riders bore fluttering pennons; foot-soldiers swinging easily along the stone pavement, their sandals of zitidar hide giving forth no sound; and at the rear of each utan a train of painted chariots, drawn by mammoth zitidars, carrying the equipment of the company to which they were attached.
I saw a greater number of small lions and tigers, though many of the huge ones still persisted, while the woolly mammoth was more in evidence, as were several varieties of the Labyrinthadonta.
Crouching among the trees, which here commenced to thin out slightly, Bradley saw what appeared to be an enormous dragon devouring the carcass of a mammoth.
Pray tell me anything new that has happened to a man anywhere on this globe" -- and he reads it over his coffee and rolls, that a man has had his eyes gouged out this morning on the Wachito River; never dreaming the while that he lives in the dark unfathomed mammoth cave of this world, and has but the rudiment of an eye himself.
Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends--a mammoth task.
There is the low, dark wainscoted room hung with sporting prints; the hat-stand (with a whip or two standing up in it belonging to bagmen who are still snug in bed) by the door; the blazing fire, with the quaint old glass over the mantelpiece, in which is stuck a large card with the list of the meets for the week of the county hounds; the table covered with the whitest of cloths and of china, and bearing a pigeon-pie, ham, round of cold boiled beef cut from a mammoth ox, and the great loaf of household bread on a wooden trencher.
There will be blackberries--Burbank's, he lives at Santa Rosa--Loganberries, Mammoth berries.
A single genetic change may have made woolly mammoths fat, hairy and cold-loving.
Researchers deciphered the complete DNA code, or genomes, of two mammoths.
While studying the fossil remains of 12,000-year-old mammoth that was discovered near the North Sea, researchers found that woolly mammoths possessed a cervical rib or neck rib.