Monday, 16 November 2015

North American Mammoths Actually Evolved in Eurasia

by Laura Geggel, Staff Writer   |   November 12, 2015 05:50pm ET

The famous Columbian mammoth — an 11-ton creature known for traversing North America during the last ice age — might actually be the same species as the Eurasian steppe mammoth, a new study finds.

The discovery suggests that the first mammoth to enter North America was the Eurasian steppe mammoth, and not its ancestor, a European creature called Mammuthus meridionalis. The two species differed greatly — the steppe mammoth had many more adaptations to living in cold weather.

The finding helps to rewrite the story of the evolution of the mammoth in North America, said study co-researcher Adrian Lister, a research leader of paleontology at the Natural History Museum in London. 

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