Final for #Mammuthus
primigenius, otherwise known as the #WoollyMammoth.
Identified in 1796 by naturalist Georges Cuvier, the Woolly Mammoth has become the symbol of what most people think of when they think of Ice Age animals. Its huge fur covered form feel strange and ancient, like some behemoth marching its way out of the frozen genetic memory of human kind to remind us of how far we have come.
It is important to consider that while Cuvier may have described M. primigenius in terms of the Western scientific records, he or any earlier western scientists who examined its remains were not the first to discover its existence. That human, lost to the ever creeping passage of time didn't have a written language that we know of to record his discovery, but he likely passed the knowledge of his encounter on to others and somehow a rendition of this magnificent animal was eventually recorded for posterity on the walls of caves like those in Rouffignac in France. Because of this depiction and others and scores of other physical evidence like fossil bones and even frozen corpses, we have a much clearer view of the animal when it was alive and of its interactions with the humans it shared its environment with.
Early humans would use mammoth tusks and bones to make art, tools, weapons, and even shelters. There is evidence not only of mammoths being butchered by people, but also of them being hunted by people as well. This has led to theories that the animals went extinct due to hominid predation. But there is also evidence that as the ice sheets shrank and the Earth warmed Mammoth populations shrank. It is also likely that disease may have played a role or that all of these causes contributed to the eventual downfall of the species as well as that of many other types Ice Age megafauna.
#pleistocene #holocene #extinctmammals #fuzzy #woolly #paleo #paleoart #paleontology #sciart #science #educational #naturalhistory
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