Home > Animal, General Knowledge > 320/365 – Mammoth

320/365 – Mammoth

A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair.

They lived from the Pliocene epoch from around 5 million years ago, into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago. And were members of the family Elephantidae, which contains, along with mammoths, the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors.

Description

Like their modern relatives, mammoths were quite large. The largest known species reached heights in the region of 4 m (13 ft) at the shoulder and weights up to 8 tonnes (9 short tons), while exceptionally large males may have exceeded 12 tonnes (13 short tons).

However, most species of mammoth were only about as large as a modern Asian elephant. Both sexes bore tusks. A first, small set appeared at about the age of six months and these were replaced at about 18 months by the permanent set.

Growth of the permanent set was at a rate of about 1 to 6 inches (2.5 to 15 cm) per year.   Based on studies of their close relatives, the modern elephants, mammoths probably had a gestation period of 22 months, resulting in a single calf being born.

Their social structure was probably the same as that of African and Asian elephants, with females living in herds headed by a matriarch, whilst bulls lived solitary lives or formed loose groups after sexual maturity.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammoth

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