Approximately 10,000 years ago, a warmer climate and widespread human hunting led to the extinction of most woolly mammoths. On St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea and Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean, however, isolated populations lived for thousands of years after that A few thousand years ago, the last inhabitants of Wrangel Island vanished.
Two older Wrangel Island mammoth DNA samples, as well as three Asian elephant samples, were compared to the Wrangel Island mammoth's DNA. In the lab, they synthesised the Wrangel Island mammoth's genetic alterations to see if they worked as intended. A function of the hormone insulin that allows glucose from the blood to enter cells to provide energy was discovered to be defective in sperm production, smell, and brain development.
Reason behind extinction (as per the new finding)
Before 4,000 years ago, woolly mammoths roamed the planet for millions of years. It has been widely accepted that humans were responsible for the loss of the mammoths, which were hunted for food and used to build houses. Despite the fact that the 6-ton, 9-foot tall mammoths were a popular catch for humans, recent research reveals that climate change to blame for the mammoth's extinction.
St. John's College academics at the University of Cambridge in England studied woolly mammoth DNA and environmental relics found in soil samples from the Arctic for almost a decade. They came to the conclusion that melting icebergs were to blame for the extinction of the woolly mammoths.
An expert in zoology at Cambridge University says that when the climate became wetter over time, the ice began to melt. This resulted in the formation of lakes (rivers), rivers (marshes), and swamps. Woolly mammoths, a creature most frequently associated with the Ice Age, lived all over the globe, with fossils having been discovered on every continent but Australia and South America. Icebergs began to melt roughly 12,000 years ago as the Pleistocene Ice Age ended. As a result, Wang believes that the population began to decline as a result of this, although they persisted in lesser numbers towards the Arctic with plant life that thrived there.
Co-author Eske Willerslev of the study and director of the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre at the University of Copenhagen argues that humans and woolly mammoths co-existed for about 2,000 years because smaller, easier creatures to hunt were available. "People have been blamed since the creatures had survived for millions of years without climate change dying them out before, but when they lived alongside humans they didn’t endure long" Willerslev added.
Climate warming is threatening Africa's last three mountain glaciers, according to a UN report. Mammoths didn't only perish from climate change, they died because they couldn't adapt quickly enough when icebergs melted and food became scarce, according to Willerslev's findings. Willerslev remarked that the discovery that climate change had an impact on wildlife just as human civilization was beginning indicates how unexpected it is. Willerslev feels that the woolly mammoth's tragedy can "easily happen again" based on a recent United Nations report that predicted more extreme weather occurrences in the future.
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