Mammoths were the majestic inhabitants of the northern hemisphere from Western Europe through North Asia to North America. From skeletal remains, paintings in caves and modern scientific methods, we know for sure that they lived close to people and were even hunted for meat. Why aren't they among us today? Did they become extinctinct by human, global warming, or was the cause completely different?
Mammoths are an extinct genus of the tribe elephantini and the order of proboscidea, which lived on planet Earth from 5 million to 1,650 BC. The mammoth is a close relative of the Indian elephant, but a distant relative of the African elephant. It even has 99.96% identical DNA with the Indian elephant.
The genus of mammoths includes at least ten different species, the best known of which, the woolly mammoth, was the last living species. Most mammoths became extinct during the last melting of glaciers. Mammoths still lived in Europe and Siberia for 8,000 BC. The global warming caused melting of glaciers and rising sea levels, which brought some mammoth herds to the now remote islands, where they remained trapped. The last mammoth became extinct on the Alaskan island of St. Paul in 3,750 BC, and on the Russian Wrangel island even in 1,650 BC.
People hunted mammoths for meat. Homo erectus has been eating mammoth meat for over 1.8 million years, although it has probably not yet been obtained by hunting. It is quite possible that in certain populated parts of the world, humans were behind the extinction of mammoths, as evidenced by the findings of large dumps of mammoth bones. Another hypothesis is global warming, because especially in Siberia, areas were practically uninhabited by human. The mammoth fed on steppes and tundra growing forbs that are easier to digest. However, the warming and humidification of the climate was more conducive to grassy plants and trees, for the consumption of which the mammoths did not have time to adapt. The last generally discussed hypothesis is the dips below the melting ice sheets and flooded rivers, as evidenced by the findings of mass remains at the Arctic Ocean and in the bed of large rivers.
To this day, science has not found a clear consensus as to why mammoths became extinct. Quite possibly the cause is all of the above and the rate of change to which these large animals have not been able to adapt. After all, the same fate awaited other members of the so-called megafauna of the woolly rhinoceros, the ground sloth, or the smilodon.