A new study reveals that mammoths might have survived in mainland North America until 5,000 years ago

Kirsty Kendall

According to a new study, woolly mammoths might have survived in North America longer than we previously thought.

The massive prehistoric animals may have lived in Yukon, Canada, until 5,000 years ago. That is 5,000 years longer than previously estimated.

Mammoth DNA reveals that mammoths may have survived longer than we previously thought

Scientists made the finding from mammoth DNA that was stored in a freezer in a laboratory for a decade.

The mammoth DNA had got found in frozen soil samples. The soil samples were 30,000 to 5,000 years old.

A study published in October 2021 already suggested that some mammoths survived on isolated islands until 4,000 years ago.

But the new study is the first to reveal that mammoths survived in mainland North America until 5,000 years ago.

What was the main reason that mammoths went extinct?

The previous belief was that human hunters and climate change were the main reason for the extinction of mammoths in North America.

The recent discovery about mammoths challenges the belief. Climate change and human hunters did decrease the number of mammoths.

But the new study makes researchers question if mammoth hunting was the main reason the gigantic animals went extinct.

Climate change might make researching DNA difficult in the future

In the future, climate change might make it difficult to make discoveries about prehistoric animals based on frozen soil samples.

The melting of Arctic permafrost might mean that many of these valuable DNA samples get lost.

That would be a shame. As the new study shows, there are still new things to be discovered about the giants of the Ice Age, woolly mammoths.

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MA in literature. A writer and unicorn lover. I write about unicorns, animals, home and living, and other intriguing topics.


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