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Woolly mammoth

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Woolly mammoth
Woolly Mammoth Skeleton.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Mammuthus primigenius

Woolly Mammoth.jpg
Woolly mammoth skeleton from the front

Woolly mammoths are an extinct species of elephant known by the scientific name Mammuthus primigenius . Mammoths are thought to have lived in the northern hemisphere from grasslands to snowy tundras. The last of the woolly mammoths are thought to have begun their decline about 1700 BC (3,700 years ago).

Mammoths are mostly thought to have lived in more grassland-like areas than the snowy tundras. The extinction of mammoths is also a very controversial topic. Many believe that mammoths went extinct to due over-hunting by early humans. Another predator believed to take part in the extinction of the woolly mammoth is the Smilodon or more commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger.

Creationists generally believe that the elephant family represents a Biblical kind (baramin) and the related species, such as the Woolly mammoth and mastodon, developed from the one pair of elephants that were taken on the ark in the days of Noah.

Mammoths vs Mastodons

An image of a mural that shows the differences between mammoth species

Mammoths and Mastodons are quite different. One of the larger species of mammoths, the Imperial Mammoths, weighed up to 10 tons! There have even been a mammoth species found in northern China that weighed up to 15 tons. Mastodons on the other hand, reached a maximum weight of about 6 tons. This size difference shows how large mammoths really were. The difference in the size of tusks that the mammoths and mastodons had were also an indicator of the difference in size of each of these animals. Most mammoths had tusks that jutted out and then looped inward. Mastodons on the other hand had tusks similar to today's elephants but were much longer.[2] The mastodon was basically a shorter and more stacky mammoth but with some other different characteristics.

Another difference is found in the teeth of each mammal. Mammoths had flatter and wider teeth that were used for grinding up leaves and grass. Mastodons, on the other hand, had high-crowned teeth. These teeth would have been used more for crushing twigs and leaves. The teeth of the mammoth are much more similar to today's elephants than those of the mastodons.[3]

Habitat and Diet

Woolly mammoths lived primarily in very colder environments. The habitat varied from being at sea level to the mountains of the Colorado Plateau. More information about where they lived and what environments they lived in have come from examining the feces. The contents of their stomachs have also indicated that they also lived in grasslands and steppe-tundras.[4]Woolly mammoths were thought to have roamed mainly on the northern hemisphere. The reason behind this is found in the multiple bones, skeletons, and other evidence of their presence.

Another reason this can be seen is by the traits that they possessed. During the ice age, the northern hemisphere was affected greatly. It was extremely cold. The woolly mammoth's long fur would have helped tremendously with keeping in heat. The Arctic is thought to be the primary location that the woolly mammoths lived in.[5] The fur coat of the mammoth would also be extremely vital due to the fact that they lacked sebaceous glands. The primary food of woolly mammoths would have been quite similar to that of modern-day elephants. They would have used their long trunks to reach down a pull grass and other vegetation out of the soil. Their tusks are also thought to have been used as a pair of sifters of sort. Some scientists believe that they would brush their tusks along the snow on the ground (if there was a large quantity of snow) in order to expose some vegetation for their trunks to pick up.


Woolly mammoths are thought to have gone extinct due to overhunting by early man. Others believe that mammoths were killed by a quick freeze. Mammoths were thought to have lived during the Ice Age that occurred after the Genesis Flood. After the Flood, it is thought that temperatures were higher for a time. This would mean that the conditions in the Arctic and many regions where Woolly Mammoth skeletons and bones have been found, would be much more habitable considering the large amounts of vegetation that is required to keep such a large mammal living. Other evidence supporting that mammoths lived in warm climates would include that they lacked sebaceous glands, much like elephants. This lack of sebaceous glands would make them very susceptible to becoming cold. [6]

Hydroplate theory explaining, on that terrible day, the rupture of the earth’s crust passed between what is now Siberia and Alaska in minutes. Jetting water from the fountains of the great deep first fell as rain. During the next few hours, some of the accelerating and expanding subterranean water that went above the atmosphere (where the effective temperature is several hundred degrees below zero Fahrenheit) froze and fell as hail. Some animals were suddenly buried, suffocated, frozen, and compressed by tons of cold, muddy ice crystals from the gigantic “hail storm.” Dirt in this ice prevented it from floating as the flood waters submerged these regions after days and weeks. Blankets of this muddy ice, hundreds of feet thick, insulated and preserved many animals during the flood phase. As the topmost layers of ice melted, the dirt in that ice remained and settled—blanketing and further insulating the deeper ice and buried animals. Months later, after mountains were suddenly pushed up, the earth’s balance shifted, the earth slowly “rolled” 34°–57°, so Siberia and Alaska moved from temperate latitudes (similar to north-central United States today) to their present positions. As the flood waters drained off the continents, whatever icy graves existed in warmer climates melted, and buried animals decayed. However, many animals, buried in what are now permafrost regions, were preserved. These conclusions can be reached quite simply. The evidence showing compression and suffocation of the frozen mammoths implies rapid burial. Rapid burial and sudden freezing suggest a supercold “ice dump.”[7]

Another factor that took a fairly large toll on the extinction of woolly mammoths was the Smilodon. Smilodon, much more commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger, is known to also have hunted mammoths. These predators were very powerful and would not have been afraid of large woolly mammoths.[8]


Michael Oard discusses the extinction of the Woolly mammoth.


  1. Author Unknown. Columbian Mammoth & Channel Island Mammoth San Diego Zoo Global. Web. December 16, 2014. (Date-Accesssed)
  2. Strauss, Bob. 10 Facts About the Woolly Mammoth about education. Web. January 4, 2014. (Date-Accessed)
  3. Mancini, Mark. What’s the Difference Between a Mammoth and a Mastodon? mental_floss. Web. December 19, 2013. (Date-Published)
  4. Author Unknown. Columbian Mammoth & Channel Island Mammoth San Diego Zoo Global. Web. December 16, 2014. (Date-Accessed)
  5. Author Unknown. Woolly Mammoth Mammuthus primigenius "TheBigZoo". Web. December 14, 2014. (Date-Accessed)
  6. Oard, Michael. Woolly mammoths were cold adapted Web. January 3, 2015. (Date-Accessed)
  7. Walt Brown. Theories Attempting to Explain Frozen Mammoths In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
  8. Safarti, Jonathan. Mammoth—riddle of the Ice Age Web. January 13, 2015. (Date-Accessed)