Woolly Mammoth: Secrets from the Ice

Genre: Documentary

usually deteriorate

before this occurs.

In fact, any type of frozen carcass

is incredibly rare.

Lyuba is one of a mere handful

of frozen specimens ever discovered.

Isn't it peculiar to think

that humans saw these alive.

I think

that's quite a strange thought,

to know that there were people

living here in Siberia

during the peak of the last Ice Age, and these

animals would have been in their environment.

They would have been

very familiar to them,

just as people living in Africa and southern

Asia share their landscape with elephants.

Our relationship with mammoths dates back

to the early days of modern humans in Europe.

Their herds clearly inspired

cave art.

We've been transfixed by their

majesty for thousands of years.

But, once extinct, mammoths became

the source of myth and legend.

Their huge bones were thought by some

to belong to a long-lost race of giants.

Others believed they belonged to a

bizarre subterranean mole-like creature

that died

when it came to the surface.

The name "mammoth" comes from

an ancient Russian word, "mamont",

meaning "earth horn"

used to describe the animal's tusks.

But it wasn't until 1728 that

British scientist Sir Hans Sloane

spotted the similarities between Siberian

remains and a group of modern specimens

that it was eventually realised that

mammoths were a type of elephant.

Major differences were obvious

in the mammoth remains -

huge tusks, increased musculature

to carry the tusks, a shoulder hump.

the big question was how and why

such an animal

came to live in the extremes

of the northern hemisphere.

We now know that mammoths

were a species created by,

and perfectly adapted to, the most

extraordinary period in Earth's history

the Pleistocene, or Great Ice Age.

This two-and-a-half million-year

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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