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Mar 17, 2020. 13 comments

Scientists Discover Ice Age Structure Made From Bones of 60 Mammoths

Scientists Discover Ice Age Structure Made From Bones of 60 Mammoths

An unusually large structure from the last ice age built from the bones of dozens of woolly mammoths has been uncovered in Russia. Dating back some 25,000 years, it’s the oldest known structure of its kind—but its purpose isn’t entirely clear.

Circular structures made from mammoth bones are surprisingly common in the archaeological record, dating to around 22,000 years ago and appearing across...

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Feb 08, 2020. 13 comments

One of the Last Mammoths on Earth Was So Mutated, It Lost the Ability to Smell Flowers

One of the Last Mammoths on Earth Was So Mutated, It Lost the Ability to Smell Flowers

The vast majority of woolly mammoths went extinct at the end of the last ice age, but small, isolated populations managed to hold out for a little while longer. New research uncovers the extent to which at least one of these final mammoths suffered due to its many mutations.

Diabetes, developmental disorders, male infertility, and even the inability to smell flowers are at least some of the...

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Nov 12, 2019. 5 comments

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Radar Scans Reveal Ancient Human Footprint Embedded in Mammoth Track

Tens of thousands of years ago, a human walked north at what is now White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. A large proboscidean, possibly a Columbian mammoth, later walked west, stepping onto one of the footprints left by the human. Soon after, a person—perhaps the same individual who had gone north—walked south, parallel to the earlier tracks. And in walking south, they stepped...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 09, 2019. 15 comments

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

A 15,000-Year-Old Trap for Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered in Mexico

Archaeologists working at a site near Mexico City have unearthed a 15,000-year-old trap built by humans to capture mammoths, in what’s the first discovery of its kind.

Early settlers of the Mexico Basin subdued giant mammoths by digging out deep, wide trenches and then driving the animals into the pits, according to a press release issued by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and...

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Oct 08, 2019. 8 comments

How the Last Woolly Mammoths Met Their Demise on a Remote Arctic Island

How the Last Woolly Mammoths Met Their Demise on a Remote Arctic Island

The last mammoths to stomp on Earth lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. This isolated population lived for thousands of years after most mammoths were gone, but when extinction finally came, it happened quickly. New evidence may finally explain what happened to these stubborn holdouts.

Research published in Quaternary Science Reviews is shedding new light on the last population of...

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Apr 11, 2019. 17 comments

Scientists Could Soon Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth—but Should They?

Scientists Could Soon Resurrect the Woolly Mammoth—but Should They?

Bringing an extinct species back to life was once firmly in the realm of science fiction, but as genetic engineering advances rapidly, the prospect of a woolly mammoth again breathing and walking on Earth seems almost within reach. Before fully resurrecting the mammoth, synthetic biologists at the Revive and Restore project are working to resuscitate pieces of ancient genomes with the goal...

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Esther Inglis-Arkell Esther Inglis-Arkell Feb 26, 2018. 11 comments

This Theory of Why Mammoths Went Extinct Will Make You See the Earth in a Different Way

This Theory of Why Mammoths Went Extinct Will Make You See the Earth in a Different Way

The extinction of the mammoths in Eurasia occurred at the end of the Pleistocene. They didn’t die alone. A lot of different megafauna, including cave bears and giant sloths, went extinct at roughly the same time. There are plenty of theories on why mammoths went extinct: climate change, disease, geological upheaval, or being hunted by humans—but a new theory says the ground is responsible.

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Nov 26, 2017. 13 comments

Strange Mammoth Skull Found in California Puzzles Paleontologists

Strange Mammoth Skull Found in California Puzzles Paleontologists

Paleontologists working on an island off the coast of California’s Ventura County have discovered a strange mammoth skull that exhibits features never seen before in the extinct elephantine creatures. Not too big and not too small, this skull could represent a transitional species.

The skull was found in an eroding stream bank on Santa Rosa Island within Channel Islands National Park by a team...

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Germain Lussier Germain Lussier Sep 25, 2017. 17 comments

Fox Is Making a Movie About the De-Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth

Fox Is Making a Movie About the De-Extinction of the Woolly Mammoth

Author Ben Mezrich is no stranger to finding a cool story and seeing it become a movie. He wrote the books that got turned into The Social Network and 21, and now his upcoming work has already been picked up by Hollywood. It’s about the potential return of the woolly mammoth.

Mezrich’s upcoming book is called Woolly: The True Story of the De-Extinction of One of History’s Most Iconic...

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Hudson Hongo Hudson Hongo Aug 21, 2017. 9 comments

Subway Expansion Uncovers Mastodon Remains at Least 10,000 Years Old

Subway Expansion Uncovers Mastodon Remains at Least 10,000 Years Old

Last week, a construction project for the Los Angeles subway turned into a scientific excavation after workers uncovered fossilized skull, tooth and tusk fragments from ancient elephant relatives that have been extinct for 10,000 years.

According to L.A. transit officials, remains belonging to an adult mastodon were discovered shortly before Thanksgiving, promoting officials to bring in a...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Aug 19, 2017. 8 comments

Why the Last Wooly Mammoths on Earth Went Extinct

Why the Last Wooly Mammoths on Earth Went Extinct

While the Sumerians were inventing writing over five thousand years ago, one of the last populations of wooly mammoths was making a desperate bid for survival on a remote Aleutian island. Now, we know how they died.

Wooly mammoths started to vanish from Eurasia and North America toward the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago, due to a combination of

climate change , habitat loss, and...

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George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Aug 19, 2017. 19 comments

Scientists Have Transplanted Mammoth DNA Into Elephant Cells

Scientists Have Transplanted Mammoth DNA Into Elephant Cells

For the first time in over 3,000 years, the functional components of wooly mammoth DNA have been brought to life (albeit in a petri dish). The achievement represents an important step towards potential efforts to bring the extinct species back.

The experiment was performed by accomplished geneticist George Church of Harvard University. To do it, his team analyzed the DNA extracted from the...

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