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Woolly Mammoth

The Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British ColumbiaA Woolly Mammoth skeleton.A Woolly Mammoth skeleton.A lifesize model of a Woolly Mammoth in the Brno museum Anthropos.A Woolly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum.
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Woolly Mammoth Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Mammuthus Primigenius
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
1.8m - 4m (6ft - 13ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
8000kg (8.8tons)
How long the animal lives for
60 - 80 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
When the entire species has disappeared from Earth
1,700 BC
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Black, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Arctic Tundra
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Grasses, Twigs, Rushes
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Sabre-toothed cats and humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Long, thick hair and enormous tusks

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Woolly Mammoth Location

Map of Woolly Mammoth Locations

Woolly Mammoth

The woolly mammoth was an enormous mammal that once roamed the vast frozen, northern landscapes in large size. Believed to be closely related to the modern-day elephant, the woolly mammoth remained in the wild until roughly 1700 BC when it became extinct.

The woolly mammoth was found roaming the bitter Arctic tundra where they would often gather in large herds for both warmth and protection. Woolly mammoths lived in two groups which are thought to have been different enough to be characterized as separate subspecies. One woolly mammoth group stayed in the middle of the high Arctic, while the other woolly mammoth group had a much wider range.

The woolly mammoth was an enormous animal, with adults often reaching heights of four meters or more. Woolly mammoths in certain areas were on average, slightly smaller in size and could in fact be just half the size of one of the largest woolly mammoth individuals.

As elephants do today, the woolly mammoth had enormous tusks which would have been used for both digging and collecting food, and for intimidating and fighting off both predators and rivals. The tusks of the woolly mammoth were often quite dramatically curved and could easily be up to 5 meters (16ft) long.

Like the African and Asian elephants still found roaming the small parts of the planet today, the woolly mammoth was a herbivorous animal meaning that it survived on a purely plant-based diet. Woolly mammoths would have eaten similar vegetation to modern-day elephants, browsing the forests for leaves, fruits, nuts, twigs and berries.

Due to the sheer size of the woolly mammoth, it had only one real predator in its natural environment which was sabre-toothed cats that would often hunt the smaller woolly mammoth calves. Other than human hunters that quickly wiped out the woolly mammoth populations in vast areas of the Arctic tundra, the rapidly melting ice had an enormous impact on their demise.

Although little is really known about the reproduction of woolly mammoths, it is quite likely that in a similar way to elephants, the female woolly mammoth would have given birth to a single woolly mammoth calf after a nearly year long (maybe even longer) gestation period. Woolly mammoths are thought to have had quite a long lifespan, getting to an average of 70 years old.

It was generally assumed that the last woolly mammoths vanished from Europe and Southern Siberia in around 8,000 BC, with the last of the isolated woolly mammoth populations vanishing from Wrangel Island, located in the Arctic Ocean in around 1700 BC.

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First Published: 12th July 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 12 Jul 2010]