Throughout history, our planet has been home to a huge variety of different animals. Life has thrived on earth during a wide range of different climates, from the very hot, to the very cold. While we are currently experiencing global warming because of man’s influence, the planet has seen changes in the past for very natural reasons. Every now and then, the planet will undergo an ice age, where much more of the planet is covered in ice. This brings some very different habitats to what we see now, and along with them comes some very different animals.
Relatively speaking, the planet’s last ice age ended fairly recently and during this time, the planet was home to the famous woolly mammoth. This magnificent beast has really helped to capture our imagination, and has been the focus of stories for many generations. They were ideally suited to their environment and have become a symbol of the era. Having been frozen in icy tombs, many specimens have been found that help us to know more about this wonderful creature.
Although the woolly mammoth has not been extant in modern times, we have still managed to learn some fascinating facts about it.
Woolly Mammoth Fact #10: Tusks Tell Their Age
Woolly mammoths would go through periods of prosperity and austerity according to the seasons. Their tusks would continue to grow throughout their lives, and they would grow at different rates in different seasons. This would create rings of darker or lighter ivory in their tusks, and we can count these rings to determine the age of the mammoth that the tusk belonged to. We are also able to tell in which season the mammoth died by looking at these rings and get a bearing on their health at the time.
This is very much like the method of being able to tell the age of trees by counting the rings on their trunk. This kind of information can be very useful in helping researchers to learn more about the lifecycle of woolly mammoths. Such information can also be used to help us learn more about the world at the time that the woolly mammoth lived.