Woolly Mammoth Facts for Kids
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What is a Woolly Mammoth?
A woolly mammoth was a mammal closely related to today’s elephant. They lived during the Ice Age and became extinct around 1700 BC. Extinct means that there are no more living in the world. Some scientists believe that that the woolly mammoth may have become extinct due to climate change which may have caused a lack of food.
They may have also died off due to being hunted by early man. Mammoths were very important to humans. There meat was used as food. Humans also used woolly mammoth’s bones and coat/hair for such things as clothing, shelter, tools and art.
What did a Woolly Mammoth look like?
Woolly mammoths were about 11ft tall and weighed between 1200-2000 pounds, approximately the same size as an African Elephant.
They had long curved tusks that they used for fighting and digging up snow and food. Their trunks were longer than an elephant’s but they had shorter tails and smaller ears. Scientists believe that they may of have smaller ears and shorter tails because of the cols environment they lived in. Smaller ears and shorter tails were easier to keep warm and helped prevent frost bite and heating loss.
Woolly mammoth’s had 4 large teeth about the size of a shoe box. They had two at the top of their mouth and two at the bottom. Woolly mammoth’s lost their teeth. They would have 6 sets of teeth in their lifetime.
Woolly mammoth’s had long shaggy coats/hair. Their coat was an orange-brown color or brown color. Under their coat was a very thick layer of skin. Under that thick skin was 3 inches of insulated fat. This helped keep them warm in the very cold climate.
Were Woolly Mammoth’s Social Animals?
Like today’s elephant, woolly mammoth’s were believed to be social animals and live in groups called herds. Groups of woolly mammoth fossils were found together at fossil dig sites by paleontologists. This suggests that woolly mammoths most likely lived in groups. A paleontologist is a scientist that studies fossils.
Finding out a Woolly Mammoth’s age
Scientists were able to tell how old a woolly mammoth was by counting rings on their tusks. You can also tell how old a tree was by counting the rings on the tree’s trunk after it has been cut down. The more rings the mammoth had the older it was. The thickness of the rings indicated how healthy the mammoth was.
What did Woolly Mammoth’s Eat?
Woolly mammoth’s were herbivores. A herbivore is an animal that does not eat meat. Woolly mammoths were believed to have eaten plants, grass, flowers, leaves, berries and nuts.
Where did Woolly Mammoth’s live?
Woolly mammoths lived in Africa, Europe and North America. Woolly mammoths also migrated. The last population of woolly mammoths were believed to have lived on Wrangel Island located in the Arctic Ocean.
Fun Woolly Mammoth Facts
There have been numerous cave drawings. paintings and engravings of woolly mammoths found throughout Europe.
The word woolly means made of wool. Mammoths may have gotten their name from that shaggy, woolly coat.
The word mammoth means huge.
There were eight different species of mammoth.
Some woolly mammoths were stuck in ice. The ice preserved the mammoths. Some woolly mammoths found, still had their coat/hair.
Woolly Rhinoceros also lived in the same time period as woolly mammoths.
Due to climate change and global warming more and more woolly mammoth tusks are starting to be found in Arctic Siberia. A woolly mammoth tuck found in good condition can be sold for $400 a pound.
Predators included humans and Saber-Tooth Cats.
Famous Woolly Mammoth
The Ice Age series of movies has a woolly mammoth as one of the main characters. Ellie, is one of the most loved characters from the movie series. Queen Latifah plays the voice of Ellie in these great movies.
Woolly – Made of wool
Mammoth – Huge
Paleontologist – A scientist who studies fossils
Fossil – Remains of plants an animals from a very long time ago. Fossils can by the skeleton or bone of a living animal.
Ice Age– A time period when parts of the Earth was covered in long sheets of ice called glaciers. The ice age may have lasted millions of years.