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)

6 Mammuthus columbi in taxidermy collections

IndexNameSexOriginAgeBirthDeath dateArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Santa Rosa Island Mammoth- 13,000 years ago13,000 years ago2022-06-00Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
2-Venice Mammoth- 2021-08-00North Alabama Dive Center
3-Huntington Mammoth-M11,500-9,500 years ago11,500-9,500 years ago1988-00-00Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum
4-Cooperton mammoth-M17,000 to 21,000 years ago17,000 to 21,000 years ago1961-00-00Oklahoma Museum of the Great Plains
5-Jeffersons mammoth-M ca 15 000 years agoca 15 000 years ago1904-00-00 American Museum of Natural History
6-unknown-unknown Mayborn Museum

37 Mammuthus primigenius in taxidermy collections

IndexNameSexOriginAgeBirthDeath dateArrivalPresent or last Location
1-Nun cho ga-Fbetween 35,000 and 40,000 years ago.between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago.2022-06-21Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre
2-Bristles Mammoth-unknownbetween 10,000 and 15,000 years agobetween 10,000 and 15,000 years ago2019-04-00University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
3-Fourcaud Mammoth-unknown 14,230 years ago14,230 years ago2010-00-00Espéraza Dinosaur Museum
4-Lyuba-FAbout 41,800 years agoAbout 41,800 years ago2007-00-00The Shemanovsky Museum-Exhibition Complex
5-Dima- about 41,000 years agoabout 41,000 years ago1977-00-00Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
6-Kånkback Mammoth- 1975-00-00JAMTLI Provincial Museum of Jämtland
7-Herttoniemi Mammoth- 1954-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
8-Haapajärvi Mammoth- 1952-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
9-Unnamed Mammoth- 1949-00-00Storfinnforsen Hydroelectric Power Station
10-Sollefteå Mammoth- 1949-00-00Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
11-Lockarp Mammoth- ca 16 000 years agoca 16 000 years ago1939-00-00Lund Zoological Museum
12-Arrie Mammoth- ca 15,900 years ago ca 15,900 years ago 1934-00-00Lund Zoological Museum
13-Lohtaja Mammoth- 1930-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
14-Tuulos Mammoth- 1923-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
15-Espoo Mammoth- 1921-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
16-Töölö Mammoth- 1911-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
17-Pohja Mammoth- 1896-00-00Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
18-Niederweningen Mammoth Baby-unknown 45 000 years ago45 000 years ago1891-00-00Mammutmuseum Niederweningen
19-Nilsiä Mammoth- 1873-00-00Finnish Museum of Natural History
20-Titente Mammoth- 1865-00-00Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
21-Sheldon Mammoth-unknownover 20,000 years agoover 20,000 years agoSheldon Prairie Museum
22-Iijoki Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
23-Ivanovich Mammoth-M City Duma Tyumen Museum of local History
24-Ystad Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
25-Bårslöv Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
26-Pilgrimstad Mammoth-M Jämtland Wargentin Gymnasium nature museum
27-Unknown name- Petrus Magni school museum
28-Unknown name- Österportgymnasium nature museum
29-Fairbanks Creek Mammoth- 21,300 years ago (±1,300)21,300 years ago (±1,300) American Museum of Natural History
30-Unnamed Mammoth- County Museum of Västernorrland
31-Lerdal Mammoth-F Uppsala Museum of Evolution
32-Bäck Mammoth- Uppsala Museum of Evolution
33-Scheldt Mammoth- Lund Zoological Museum
34-Brunkeberg Mammoth- Swedish Museum of Natural History (NRM)
35-Siegsdorfer Mammut- ca 45 000 years agoca 45 000 years agoSiegsdorf Natural History and Mammoth Museum
36-Göttingen paralectotype Mammoth- Göttingen Zoological Museum
37-Leibniz Mammoth- Göttingen Zoological Museum


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

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