Genus Mammuthus

Mammoths, the prehistoric elephants

Illustration how the Mammoths spread

The genus mammoths, in latin Mammuthus, was a group of species, belonging to the family of elephants, entirely separated in taxonomy from the Mastodons and the genus family Mammutidae, although they sometimes shared the same envoronment. (For scientific reasons, the mastodons was renamed to family Mammutidae, which became a source for future confusion and misunderstandings).
The Mammoths probably has origin from Stegodon and started to develop during upper Pliocene, (some 4 million years ago) in africa, spred to europe and asia, and Mammuthus meridionalis went over Bering Strait to north america about 1.8 million years ago, (the wooly Mammoth went over much later) and became extinct during lower Holocene, probaby exterminated by prehistoric humans who hunted elephants and Mammoths and made huts and houses out of their bones.

Characters of Mammoths

  • They had bumps on their head
  • Both sexes had tusks
  • Some tusks were straight, some were curved
  • The longest tusks were up to 13 feet (4 m) long.
  • Mammoths had longer tusks than Mastodons, a wider head, a sloping back and flat chewing teeth
  • Their trunk had two finger-like projections like african elephants
  • Their teeth were flat like asian elephants
  • Most species was not larger than recent elephants

Compare with the african bush elephant! and the asian elephant!

Taxonomy and species

Recently made DNA-tests (Extern reference link) gives the indication that genus Mammuthus is a sister genus to elephas, with a gap to Loxodonta. Mammoths lived in different areas, some in the northern arctic areas, but not all of them, and they developed over a long period into different forms, so when speaking about Mammoths, it should be clear that this is a group of species, and not only the species wolly Mammoth. There were several recognized species:

Mammoths, the prehistoric elephants

Extinction and excavation sites

  • The first Mammoths started to appear some 2 million years ago, and they share ancestor with the recent asian elephant.
  • The last mammoths was still living 4 000 years ago at Wrangel Island in the Arctic Sea north of Siberia. They were dwarf like, abt 1.8 meters high, probably as an adaption to the life on an island.
  • 1910 a whole skeleton was excavated in Germany (picture above)
  • Several mammoths have been excavated from 20 000 year old layers at the ancient lake shores of Basin of Mexico near Mexico City
  • Dr. Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr. of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory excavated 1985 a partial mammoth skeleton in Travis County, Texas.
  • In 1997, Simion Jarkov, a 9-year-old nomadic reindeer herder came across a pair of woolly mammoth tusks buried in the frozen tundra of Siberia. This mammoth baby is called Dima
  • One of the best preserved Canadian specimens consists of most of an entire skeleton from Whitestone River in the Yukon Territory
  • In July, 2000, Spencer Trennert found a mammoth tibia on Nicholson Peninsula, N.W.T. to the southeast but still in the lee of the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, on the Arctic coast of western Canada.(Link)

4 Mammuthus columbi in taxidermy collections

IndexNameSexOriginAgeBirthDeath dateArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Venice Mammoth- 2021-08-00North Alabama Dive Center
2-Huntington Mammoth-M 60 years old when he died. Tooth condition and the presence of arthritis in this mammoth indicate that it is a very old one.11,500-9,500 years ago11,500-9,500 years ago1988-00-00Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum
3-Jeffersons mammoth-M ca 15 000 years agoca 15 000 years ago1904-00-00 American Museum of Natural History
4-unknown-unknown Mayborn Museum

30 Mammuthus primigenius in taxidermy collections

IndexNameSexOriginAgeBirthDeath dateArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Kånkback Mammoth- 1975-00-00JAMTLI Provincial Museum of Jämtland
2-Herttoniemi Mammoth- 1954-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
3-Haapajärvi Mammoth- 1952-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
4-Unnamed Mammoth- 1949-00-00Storfinnforsen Hydroelectric Power Station
5-Sollefteå Mammoth- 1949-00-00Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
6-Lockarp Mammoth- ca 16 000 years agoca 16 000 years ago1939-00-00Lund Zoological Museum
7-Arrie Mammoth- ca 15,900 years ago ca 15,900 years ago 1934-00-00Lund Zoological Museum
8-Lohtaja Mammoth- 1930-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
9-Tuulos Mammoth- 1923-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
10-Espoo Mammoth- 1921-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
11-Töölö Mammoth- 1911-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
12-Pohja Mammoth- 1896-00-00Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
13-Nilsiä Mammoth- 1873-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
14-Titente Mammoth- 1865-00-00Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
15-Iijoki Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
16-Ivanovich Mammoth-M City Duma Tyumen Museum of local History
17-Ystad Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
18-Bårslöv Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
19-Pilgrimstad Mammoth-M Jämtland Wargentin Gymnasium nature museum
20-Unknown name- Petrus Magni school museum
21-Unknown name- Österportgymnasium nature museum
22-Fairbanks Creek Mammoth- 21,300 years ago (±1,300)21,300 years ago (±1,300) American Museum of Natural History
23-Unnamed Mammoth- County Museum of Västernorrland
24-Lerdal Mammoth-F Uppsala Museum of Evolution
25-Bäck Mammoth- Uppsala Museum of Evolution
26-Scheldt Mammoth- Lund Zoological Museum
27-Brunkeberg Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
28-Siegsdorfer Mammut- ca 45 000 years agoca 45 000 years agoSiegsdorf Natural History and Mammoth Museum
29-Göttingen paralectotype Mammoth- Göttingen Zoological Museum
30-Leibniz Mammoth- Göttingen Zoological Museum


Raising the Mammoth DVD Land of the Mammoth DVD Evolution VHS Set

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