Woolly Mammoth

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Related to Mammuthus primigenius: Mammuthus columbi

Woolly Mammoth


(Mammuthusprimigenius), an extinct mammal of the family Elephantidae that inhabited Europe, northern Asia, and North America in the second half of the Pleistocene. The woolly mammoth became extinct approximately 10,000 years ago. Its size (height, 2.5-3.5 m) did not exceed that of living elephants, and it weighed up to 7 tons. The body was covered with thick hair and had a thick undercoat. The animal fed on grass and scrub. During the winter it obtained these from beneath the snow by means of its complexly curved tusks. The molars, which had numerous thin dentin-enamel plates, were well adapted for grinding coarse food.

The woolly mammoth was a contemporary of Lower Paleolithic man, as is evidenced by the finds of mammoth bones, often with traces of working, at Paleolithic sites. Paintings and sculptures of the mammoth by ancient man have also been found. More than 40 mammoth carcasses, preserved in permanently frozen ground, have been discovered in northern Siberia and Alaska. The most complete specimen was excavated in 1901-02 on the bank of the Berezovka River (a tributary of the Kolyma) by an expedition of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. It was subjected to anatomical, histological, and biochemical analysis; the remains of food found in its mouth and stomach were also analyzed. The skeleton and a stuffed version of the mammoth are on display in the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in Leningrad.

The remains of woolly mammoths serve as index fossils in determining the geologic age of Anthropogene continental deposits. Mammoth tusks found in permafrost layers are used for making art objects.


Illarionov, V. T. Mamont: K istorii ego izucheniia v SSSR. Gorky, 1940.
Osnovy paleontologii: Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1962.
Augusta, J., and Z. Burian. Kniga o mamontakh. Prague, 1962.
Garutt, V. E. Das Mammut. Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach). Wittenberg (Lutherstadt), 1964.


References in periodicals archive ?
Diedrich, "Von eiszeitlichen Fleckenhyanen benagte Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach 1799)-Knochen und -Knabbersticks aus dem oberpleistozaanen Perick-Hoahlenhorst (Sauerland) und Beitrag zur Taphonomie von Mammutkadavern," Philippia, vol.
Bite marks Collection 1 Stadtmuseum Bad Wildungen 2 University of Marburg Table 7: Bones of Mammuthus primigenius (Blumenbach 1799) from the open air site Bad Wildungen-Biedensteg (Hesse, NW-Germany).
Mots cles: mammouth, Mammuthus primigenius, dernier maximum glaciaire, pleistocene, Beringie, archipel Arctique canadien, Territoires du Nord-Ouest
Two radiocarbon-dated mammoth fossils (presumably from woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius) from northwestern Banks Island and southwestern Melville Island not only are the northernmost specimens in North America, but indicate that the Mammoth Steppe and Beringia extended eastward at least to 123.1[degrees] W and possibly to 114.4[degrees] W during the LGM.
in latitude 75[degrees]." He continued: "The animal probably belonged to the species known as Elephas primigenius [= Mammuthus primigenius, the woolly mammoth], possibly Deperet's form sibericus." Farrand (1961:735) refers to Kindle's paper, repeating the error that the tusk was from Banks Island rather than Melville Island.
Dynamics of the mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) population in northern Asia: Radiocarbon evidence.
Kurten and Anderson (1980) provisionally recognize four North American mammoth species or "stages" (Mammuthus meridionalis Mammuthus columbi, Mammuthus jeffersonii, and Mammuthus primigenius) as a series of successional populations.
Others (e.g., Agenbroad 1984; Graham 1986; Maglio 1973) recognize three North American species of mammoth: Mammuthus meridionalis, Mammuthus imperator, Mammuthus columbi, and the Wisconsinan immigrant, Mammuthus primigenius. They also consider Mammuthus jeffersonii to be a synonym of Mammuthus columbi.
The dental features of Mammuthus "jeffersonii" so closely parallel those of Mammuthus primigenius that they cannot be separated solely on the basis of dental characters (Maglio 1973).
(= more than one unnamed species) based on the lack of agreement among scientists about the specific content of the genus The most common references to Michigan mammoths have used the names Mammuthus Primigenius (woolly mammoth), a northern form, and Mammuthus Jeffersonii (Jefferson mammoth), a more southern form (see Holman 2001)
Kurten and Anderson (1980) provisionally recognize four North American mammoth species or "stages" (Mammuthus meridionalis, Mammuthus columbi, Mammuthus jeffersonii, and Mammuthus primigenius) as a series of successional populations.