|“||One of the most awesome and most famous mammals of all extinct animals, the Woolly Mammoths, the long-lost relative of modern-day elephants.||„|
|— Allen, about the Woolly Mammoth|
The Woolly Mammoth was a species of mammoth (a type of prehistoric elephant) which lived in the Northern Hemisphere from the middle-late Pleistocene and throughout to the early-late Holocene epochs. The Woolly Mammoth is among the most famous prehistoric extinct mammalian animals of all time.
It looked much like an elephant, but was covered in thick fur, as it lived in the Ice Age. Scientists have found frozen mammoths in Siberia - some so well preserved, like Dyma the baby mammoth and the Jarkov Mammoth a frozen mammoth with few inches of wool.
The Woolly Mammoth lived during the Middle to Late Pleistocene and lived up until the Early to Late Holocene from over 1 million to 10,000 years ago, but new findings show that some were still present there about 1,700 years ago. Whilst Mammoth populations got smaller due to climate change, being over-hunted by early humans drove them to extinction.
Known for being the most famous and endangered mammalian animal of all time, the Woolly Mammoths were giant hairy elephant-like creatures that stood about 9–15 feet (2.7–4.5 m) tall, weighed up to 6-12 tons, and needed plains and grasslands and they had to feed sixteen hours a day.
Mammoths also made a grumbling sound with their stomachs and they used that to communicate with their herd mates, even if they were dead, they tried. If their heads were held low and their ears were close to their heads, it could mean they were sick.
If two adult Mammoths that look the same, they would probably both be females – hair, dainty, straight. Tusks on male Mammoths were much bigger tusks and corkscrew curve at the end. Female Mammoths have much smaller tusks.
Another important difference between Mammoths and Elephants was the layer of fat beneath the skin. For mammoths, their layer of fat was an incredible three inches, ten centimeters, thick for insulation. They had a thin layer of fat because they were Ice Age creatures. As such, it was used to keep them warm.
Mammoths needed a lot of vegetation. Sometimes, they had to have 180-200kg of grass, twice a grown man's weight, in food every single day.
Like all kinds of herbivorous animals, Woolly Mammoths lived and traveled in huge herds of dozens, hundreds, if not, even thousands of individuals, ranging from calves to adult females. The herd was made up of mothers, calves, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, making the whole herd almost entirely of females, with some male calves and adolescences. But once males reached a certain age, they left the heard and only came together during mating. If a member of the herd died, then another member, and sometimes others, would stay behind.
In a herd, like modern elephants, Mammoths were led by only one animal: the Matriarch. The Matriarchs were at least 50 to 60 years of age and it was her very experience that insured the survival and safety of the herd when the going got tough, and she also maintained cohesiveness in the herd: for example, the members of the herd stopped when she stopped, slept when she slept, and fed and drank when she did.
If there was a big bull Mammoth, a male Mammoth, near a herd, they could have been in musk, which means they were ready to mate. When they were in this state, they had four times the amount of testosterone they normally have. They were looking for a female to mate with, and males could have been really irritable and aggressive.
A massive herd of Mammoths is such an enchanting sites – there were mothers, grandmas and calves, there were aunties, there were sisters and they all thrived on their grassland diet, which was very rich and diverse. They fed on grasses, mosses and all sorts of things.
Just like modern day elephants, Mammoths appeared to have a strong bond between members of the herd. And that's what the Matriarch did. Whenever there was trouble, she would come in to help, like if a calf was stuck in mud. Mammoths evolved from hairless elephants in Africa and have become living fortresses against the cold.
Also, they had small ears and short tails to prevent them from losing too much heat. Insects were a source of irritation for these animals and the mud Mammoths spraied on their heads prevented the insects from biting, or mammoths did it just for the fun of it.