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Where Mammoths Had Lived
30.07.2010 17:55
Where Mammoths Had Lived
A mammoth

International think-tank, containing Russian and Dutch researchers, has studied changes in mammoths habitat during last 50 000 years.
      Research was conducted on 809 mammoth bones, found in 381 European sites. Age of these bones was estimated by means of radiocarbon method.
      During late Pleistocene mammoths lived at vast territories, which however, changed depending on climate fluctuations. About 46-44 thousand years ago the climate had been warm, and mammoths inhabited central part of Europe. Then weather had got colder, and mammoths moved northwards, reaching shores of the Arctic Ocean. Possible explanation is that cooling caused forest degradations, and mammoths, who liked steppes, were very happy about that.
      About 39035 thousand years ago the weather had become even colder, and mammoths moved a bit southwards. Following interglacial period allowed these giants to settle down everywhere in Europe, including Iberian Peninsula, British Isles, and north of Eastern Europe. At the same time mammoths disappeared from Crimea and Caucasus, where ancient people had probably hunted those animals.
      Later mammoths area had shrunk significantly, being under pressure from both weather warming and intensive hunting giants had moved northeastwards. The area, inhabited by mammoths had then consisted of several small habitats instead of a large one. In late Holocene only one mammoth population had dwelled at Wrangel Island and St. Pauls Islands in the Pacific.
      Mammoths disappeared because steppes were replaced by forests (no grass no food), ancient people hunted them, and snow cover had become thicker, researchers believe.
      Source: Science News


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