The Fascinating World of Mammoths

What are mammoths and how can we determine their age?

We can determine the age of a woolly mammoth by examining what?


Examining the tusks, bones, and teeth

Mammoths were ancient, elephant-like creatures that roamed the Earth during the Ice Age. These fascinating animals captivate the imagination of many with their large size and unique characteristics.

To determine the age of a woolly mammoth, scientists study the tusks, bones, and teeth. By examining the growth layers in the tusks and the wear stages of the grinding teeth, researchers can estimate the biological age, also known as the "age at death," of these magnificent creatures.

The process involves analyzing the incremental record of strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr) in the tusks and teeth. As tusks grow, they incorporate ingested strontium (Sr), which leaves a record that can be used to study proboscidean movements and estimate the age of the mammoth.

By scrutinizing the bones, teeth, and tusks of mammoths, researchers can piece together valuable information about these ancient giants and gain insights into their behavior, diet, and lifespan.

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