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Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions - Research Paper Example

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In the paper “Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions: the author describes the term mammoth, which refers to several extinct species belonging to the elephant family. Prominent features include high, domelike skull, small ears, and woolly underfur…
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Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions
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Download file to see previous pages At the beginning of the Pleistocene Epoch, around 1.6 million years ago, mammoths can be found in every continent except for Australia and South America (Martin, 2005). Figure 1 shows a fully-reconstructed mammoth:
Mammuthus – commonly known as the steppe mammoth. Discovered remains indicate that adults can grow up to 5 meters (about 16 ft) high and weigh about 18 metric tons. These mammoths roamed Eurasian wooded and meadowlike habitats
Mammuthus primigenius – otherwise known as woolly mammoths because of their thick hairy coat that helped it to live in northern tundra regions. Adults can grow about 3 m (10ft) tall about the size of a modern Asian elephant.
The first complete specimen of a frozen mammoth was found in the Lena River of Siberia in 1806 by Russian botanist Mikhail Adams. Since then, frozen complete mammoth remains have been found in North America and Northern Europe. A study of their intestinal tracts indicated that the beast’s diet was plants and foliage (Vartanyan, 2005).
Mammoths were believed to have died out during the Pleistocene Epoch around 11,000 years. However, dwarf mammoth remains were discovered in an island in the Arctic Ocean and dating techniques place their extinction around 3,700 years ago. The cause of extinction is still to be decided but there is considerable evidence that humans hunted them down in large numbers for food.
Megatherium is the name given to extinct massive ground sloths found in the woodlands and grasslands of Central and South America. They are believed to have walked the earth 5.3 million years ago during the Pliocene epoch. Adults can weigh as much as 5 metric tons and as large as an African bull elephant. When it stood in its two hind legs, adult megatheriums were 20 feet tall (Bargo, 1997)
Unlike tree sloths, megatheriums travel the land.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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