Woolly mammoths may have lived thousands of years after supposed extinction

From The GWPF

Date: 19/01/21

GWPF & Scientific American

Scientists have discovered the DNA of some 2,100 kinds of plants and 180 animals — including American horses and woolly mammoths – dating to thousands of years after their supposed extinction.

One of the most popular theories for the extinction of the wholly mammoth and other so-called ‘megafauna’ that roamed the wilderness during the Pleistocene is the claim that rapid global warming at the end of the last Ice Age killed off these species.

The idea that global warming rather ‘overkill’ by human hunters was chiefly responsible for the disappearance of the mammoth has gained in popularity in conjunction with claims that humans today are facing the same fate due to the same alleged catastrophe.

Paleontologists have been arguing for decades what may have caused these species to vanish. For much of the second half of the 20th century the ‘overkill hypothesis’ dominated the scientific debate, claiming that the post-glacial expansion of human populations into their habitats led to the overhunting and gradual destruction of these species.

With the rise of climate catastrophism, a growing number of studies attempted to show that global warming rather than humans were primarily responsible for the disappearance of these Pleistocene species.

Now, a team of paleogeneticists have discovered DNA of “about 2,100 kinds of plants and 180 animals—including American horses and woolly mammoths, in samples from soil dated to thousands of years after their supposed extinction.”

Once this new discovery can be confirmed, the whole idea of an abrupt climate catastrophe wiping out the wholly mammoth and other Pleistocene species in one fell swoop is likely to go the way of the Dodo.

Ancient DNA preserved in soil may rewrite what we thought about the Ice Age

Based on bone and tooth records, the Yukon’s last mammoths were thought to have gone extinct about 12,000 years ago. But a new genetic sampling technique suggests the great beasts may have stuck around a lot longer, plodding through the Arctic tundra with bison and elk for thousands of years more. The story is in the soil.

Bones are rich sources of prehistoric genetic information, but not the only ones; items ranging from shed Ice Age skin cells to pine needles can contribute to the genetic record stored in dirt. Paleogeneticists have been extracting and analyzing “environmental DNA” from soil for a long time, but getting rid of non-DNA material without destroying these fragile clues is daunting.

“Environmental samples contain a huge range of other chemical substances that are challenging to separate from the DNA we’re interested in,” says McMaster University geneticist Tyler Murchie. “We can’t afford to lose whatever we can get.” In Quaternary Reports, Murchie and his colleagues describe gentler techniques that recover up to 59 times as much genetic material as other methods.

In the new approach, soil samples are extracted with a sterilized chisel and then broken into smaller portions, stirred and run through a “cold spin method” to separate as much DNA as possible. The DNA is then compared against an existing genetic library to detect species matches.

“Not only do these techniques get more DNA, but they get more diverse DNA,” says East Tennessee State University paleontologist Chris Widga, who was not involved in the new study. “It’s becoming more nuanced, and it looks like there is actually the potential to document larger slices of the ecosystem.”

Read the full article here.

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January 21, 2021 6:06 am

Mammoth burgers are the best!

Mr.
Reply to  bob boder
January 21, 2021 1:46 pm

What do they call mammoth burgers in Paris?

OldGreyGuy
Reply to  Mr.
January 21, 2021 2:51 pm

Mammoth Royale?

Intelligent Dasein
Reply to  Mr.
January 21, 2021 6:50 pm

Mon coq.

Joe Wagner
January 21, 2021 6:08 am

> Once this new discovery can be confirmed, the whole idea of an abrupt climate catastrophe wiping out the wholly mammoth and other Pleistocene species in one fell swoop is likely to go the way of the Dodo.

Oh, you optimist!
They’ll just use some mental gymnastics to still attribute it to Climate Change…

This is a cool technique though! Although I wonder what percentage of DNA is actually reliably categorizable. I would think it would be much more damaged and unusable.

2hotel9
January 21, 2021 6:22 am

It is quite comical that college educated people think “extinction” happens like a switch has been flipped. What idiots. No wonder they cheer for China Joe as black lies matter and pantyfa burn down DNC offices in two cities.

MarkW
Reply to  2hotel9
January 21, 2021 11:25 am

I could have sworn that CNN told us that conservatives are the only ones who riot.

Peter W
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 12:34 pm

Conservative riots are the only ones significant enough to be worth mentioning.

Duane
Reply to  MarkW
January 24, 2021 5:44 am

Then you’d be wrong.

2hotel9
Reply to  MarkW
January 25, 2021 6:58 am

This new platform keeps having mail delivery issues, keep having to come back and re-comment.

Duane
Reply to  2hotel9
January 24, 2021 5:42 am

You mean China Don – the only President in history who ever had, or needed, a communist Chinese bank account. So that he could collect his profits from selling his junk to Chinese, who granted him tens of millions of dollars worth of trademark protections and import licenses, in return for China Don killing Trans Pacific Partnership as one of his first acts.

The same China Don who declared one year ago that his good buddy Xi was doing a great job on covid.

The same China Don who congratulated his good buddy Xi on setting up and operating a string of concentration camps for Uyghurs.

The same China Don who stated that it would be wonderful if he could be just like his good buddy Xi and be named Dictator for Life.

The same China Don who conducted an insurrection against the Constitution and attempted assassination of his own Vice President, for daring to obey our Constitution.

2hotel9
Reply to  Duane
January 24, 2021 7:21 am

Ahhh, still cryin’&lyin’. So sad thats all you got. Anyone who does business in China has to have an account in a CCP owned and operated bank, moron. The Biden Family does.

2hotel9
Reply to  2hotel9
January 26, 2021 6:04 am

Is anyone else having a recurring issue with Mail Delivery Subsystem in replies to comments? Just wondering.

Ron Long
January 21, 2021 6:31 am

Without weighing in on the science of extracting dna from dirt, I would like to mention how innovative, yes and even viscous, the early indigenous hunters were. In Montana there are several cliffs known as “buffalo jumps”. The locals would find a buffalo herd in a mountain valley, a valley that was glacier carved, with steep canyon walls and terminating in a drop off, commonly referred to as a “hanging valley”. They would then stampede the buffalo herd down the valley until the lead animals could not stop and were pushed over the cliffs to die below. The tribe would then cut up the animals and eat well for some time, not to mention saving the hides. I have no idea how the tribes hunted woolly mammoths, but I guarantee you not with bows and arrows.l.

shrnfr
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 6:45 am

Spears are another matter: https://www.livescience.com/64540-ice-age-hunters-spear-mammoth.html

The last mammoths actually died within the past 4,000 years: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191007081750.htm

Jon Salmi
Reply to  shrnfr
January 21, 2021 10:17 am

shrnfr: That was my understanding also; that they had died out on Rangel Island about 100 miles above Siberia from a lack of fresh water. Finally that they had shrunk to about 6 feet high due to the Van Valen Island Effect.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 7:04 am

The same way polar bears hunt walrusses.

EWSTX
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 8:06 am

Same thing in TX… There is a town in West TX called Buffalo Gap for that reason.

John VC
Reply to  EWSTX
January 21, 2021 2:10 pm

Can still get some decent BBQ there.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 8:08 am

Those viscous hunters had difficulty keeping up with the stampeded herd — especially in the Winter!

Richard Page
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 8:45 am

Well it all depends on the specific viscosity of the individual hunters!

Rich Davis
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 1:27 pm

Should be ok if you go with a 0W20 or 5W20 hunter.

Sara
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 8:50 am

Wouldn’t it be easier to keep up in the winter, when cold will make viscous things more viscous than when it’s warm?

Loydo
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 12:48 pm

I thought would have run quite quickly.

Richard Page
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 3:29 pm

Congratulations Loydo, I do believe you made a funny!

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 9:28 pm

Viscosity can be such a nuisance, if you are a hunter

menace
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 8:13 am

I don’t know how they were killed but there is a lot of archeological evidence the neanderthals used their bones and hides to construct homes, furniture, and tools. I believe there is evidence of spear marks on bones and stuff but they certainly could also have used geography to their advantage at times.

So these climate-change-causes-everything “scientists” would have us believe that the mammoths just were dropping like flies due to the climate changing and that the neanderthals etc. were just taking advantage of the boon and they were not hunting them to extinction.

Richard Page
Reply to  menace
January 21, 2021 11:05 am

Neanderthals in North America? Surely you jest sir? Denisovans maybe but not Neanderthals.

Bar Code
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 2:17 pm

Solutreans with Clovis spearpoints.

glen ferrier
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 2:24 pm

There are still plenty of Neanderthals in North America today but we now call them progressives.

Speed

Ghowe
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 6:41 pm

My brother was a viscuos hunter too. The deer would run away screaming “the Blob! the Blob!

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  Ron Long
January 21, 2021 9:30 pm

I guess as a hunter, if you suffer from viscosity, it’s better to let the prey come to you.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Ron Long
January 22, 2021 4:33 am

‘Thick’ headed “viscous”?

I am pleased to still be able to find a public Two Minutes Hate. That’s all I got left.

Editor
January 21, 2021 6:33 am

I don’t know of any credible scientists who assert that rapid global warming at the end of the Pleistocene caused the extinction of mammoths and other megafauna. The fact that they thrived through numerous glacial/interglacial cycles is a big, fat QED.

commieBob
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 8:00 am

Yep.

Experts are good at missing the glaringly obvious. I am reminded of a movie about the old west. The good guys had been captured and were being held in something like a jail cell. There were Indians involved and the old hands were arguing about how they, the good guys, were going to be killed. The young guy said they were going to be hanged. The old hands mocked him but he just pointed out the window to where the gallows were being constructed.

It saddens me that actual experts often don’t know things about their own fields that are actually common knowledge among educated people.

Loydo
Reply to  commieBob
January 21, 2021 2:15 pm

Nope.

Its not the “expert’s” strawman its the GPWF’s. Your “expert’s” research they are basing this on hasn’t even been published yet.

fred250
Reply to  Loydo
January 22, 2021 3:23 pm

YAWN..

FACTS and DATA…. you really can’t cope, can you, loy-moron.

menace
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 8:33 am

yup
“The woolly mammoth began to diverge from the steppe mammoth about 800,000 years ago in East Asia.”
They survived through eight interglacial periods including the longest warm one 400,000 years ago that had lasted over 50,000 years (the present Holocene interglacial is currently 14,000 years). It seems to have thrived during the glaciations as well. Yet somehow we are supposed to believe that it is coincident that the species just happened to crash in the Holocene, where mankind has suddenly thrived, after having survived through eight other interglacials.

Richard Page
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 8:50 am

The change in temperature would never have caused it, as you certainly imply, what about changes in vegetation? A lowering of (dare I say it) CO2 and a reduction in grazing might have caused a problem? Another possible reason for keeping CO2 levels high?

Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 9:44 am

Some time ago, I ran across a paper that made the case that a change in soil moisture or humidity destroyed the Mammoth steppe biome and that this caused the extinction. I’ll have to see if I can find it.

I think it was a combination of factors, with humans being the straw that broke the camelops’ back.

Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 9:50 am

Megafaunal isotopes reveal role of increased moisture on rangeland during late Pleistocene extinctions

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/316229684_Megafaunal_isotopes_reveal_role_of_increased_moisture_on_rangeland_during_late_Pleistocene_extinctions

I don’t know why this would have happened at the end of the Pleistocene, but not in previous deglaciations. However, it is interesting.

Waza
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 12:11 pm

David
Agreed.
Humans played a part.
Hunter gatherers did not count.
If they killed only 1-2% of mega fauna a year more than that species bred per year eventually that species would die out and they wouldn’t even notice.

Fran
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 4:12 pm

It is not only the mammoth that needs to be explained. Between 30 and 12 thousand years ago, 37 (North America) and 54 (south America) genera of large mammals went extinct. The picture of the Clovis culture hunting mammoths to extinction is attractive because everyone can picture people hunting them. How about the giant beaver and sloth – they dissapeared too, but there are no sites with bones associated with Clovis points for them. There really is no good explanation yet.

Reply to  Fran
January 21, 2021 6:06 pm

That’s why I think the explanation is complex… But humans seem to be the most likely tiebreaker.

I think that the late Pleistocene climate oscillations were probably very challenging before humans tipped the balance. Of course we’ll never actually know how and why it happened.

roy a autry
Reply to  Fran
January 22, 2021 7:28 am

Actually, that’s not entirely true. A site in southwest Indiana, Daviess County (some fifty miles north of the glacial terminus above the Ohio River) was excavated at what was once a Pleistocene Lake– giant beaver, etc… bones were found. I was told Clovis artifacts were found as well. Indiana University should have that site report if you can find who has access to it.

beng135
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 10:42 am

And the glacial periods were often unstable and wildly variable w/their DO & Heinrich events, etc, compared to interglacials. So the megafauna had survived all that. I’m not sure/don’t know what happened to them, but I seriously doubt it was warming from the interglacial.

Last edited 2 months ago by beng135
Reply to  beng135
January 21, 2021 11:00 am

I think the stadial/interstadial and glacial/interglacial transitions would have already been very stressful… Add in skilled human hunters and it was lights out.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 1:21 pm

Mr. Middleton,

Please note that the paper you cited claims to have found evidence of increased moisture from ~25-10kyr bp. At the same time the continental ice sheets melted. These phenomena did not cause “stress” to mammoths — instead they expanded the range of mammoth habitat by many orders of magnitude.

Mammoths did not live on ice sheets. Nothing lives on ice sheets. Mammoths did not survive on tundra lichen like reindeer; they required large quantities of grass, herbaceous, and arboreal vegetation (stomach contents have been found). The Great Melt after the LGM, was good for mammoths.

Note also that mammoths were not limited to icy climes but were dispersed across North and South America. Pictographs of mammoths have been discovered in Bolivia and mammoth bones were used for shelter construction in Monte Verde, Chile.

The “climate change killed the mammoths” hypothesis is without foundation. When examined closely using available evidence, that hypothesis is patently absurd.

Btw, increased rainfall occurred during every interglacial of the Pleistocene including the current one. And please note that the Pleistocene has not ended — we’re still in it and will be for another 8-10 million years.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 21, 2021 2:19 pm

That’s why I noted this:

I don’t know why this would have happened at the end of the Pleistocene, but not in previous deglaciations. However, it is interesting.

I don’t know how valid it is. It struck me as odd.

My comment about habitat disruption was unrelated to this. During Dansgaard-Oeschger events, when the Northern Hemisphere climate rapidly warmed during interstadials, there would have been a lot of ice melting and outwash floods. My recollection is that most well-preserved mammoths appear to have been killed in sudden flash floods and quickly buried in mud.

The outwash floods and temporary braided streams would have been even more prevalent during the end-Pleistocene deglaciation. While the mammoths had handled this sort of habitat disruption through about 8 prior deglaciations, they didn’t have to cope with an expanding human population, rapidly moving into the Americas.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 22, 2021 6:39 pm

The remains at Monte Verde, Chile are of mastodons. They’re in a different family than mammoths, which were one of three genera in the elephant family, two of which survive.

Some Asian and African elephant species were however wiped out by humans in historical times, ie North African and Syrian, used as war elephants in the Mediterranean world.

The mammoths which lived on grasslands far from the steppe-tundra biome belong to other species than woolly, such as the Columbian.

Loydo
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 1:08 pm

“I don’t know of any credible scientists who assert that rapid global warming at the end of the Pleistocene caused the extinction of mammoths and other megafauna.”

Exactly. So why would the GWPF be hoisting up such a silly strawman as “With the rise of climate catastrophism, a growing number of studies attempted to show that global warming rather than humans were primarily responsible for the disappearance of these Pleistocene species.”?

Oh wait, its the GWPF plus associated echo-chambers, so I guess this is proof: “the whole idea of an abrupt climate catastrophe…is likely to go the way of the Dodo.”

Right that makes perfect sense.

MarkW
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 1:13 pm

One constant with Loydo, the longer his posts, the less likely he is to make sense.

Basically, like most of his posts, this one boils down to a complaint that there are people out there who don’t worship as he does.

Loydo
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 2:11 pm

At least they aren’t entirely vacuous. Google strawman if you don’t get it

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 4:02 pm

No, try googling “climate change mammoth extinction” and you will get dozens of “scientific” studies (and news reports about those studies) that claim mammoths and other megafauna were driven to extinction by “climate change”. It got too wet, too dry, too hot, too cold, too fast, too this, too that, and on and on.

Not strawmen but real people who are whipping up climate change alarmism frenzy. The idea that a warming world is rife with extinctions is one of the key alarmist talking points.

But it’s all talk. All the major extinction events in geologic history have been due to cooling, not warming. Plants and animals do better when it’s warmer. Biodiversity (more species per unit area) is highest at the Equator and decreases with increasing latitude until reaching zero at the Poles. Ditto bio-productivity. Colder is deadly — warmer is life-giving.

Loydo
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 21, 2021 5:10 pm

Before you get all whipped up, this research hasn’t even been published yet and when it does I’d like to hear what they have to say about finding entire frozen mammoth. Does that mean they only went extinct last winter? How does finding their frozen DNA differ.

MarkW
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 5:03 pm

Another constant with Loydo, when caught saying something stupid, he quickly tries to change the subject.

Loydo
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 6:06 pm

Got anything to add?

Mike
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 10:25 pm

Major environmental change and extinctions are not an unusual part of our geological past, but this time it’s personal; it involves us.”

The fossil record provides us with a window into our past that can help us understand our present. As our study shows, dramatic environmental change takes a heavy toll on species survival especially for those at the top of the food chain. Will we heed the warnings from the past or suffer the consequences?”

Conflating natural, ancient, environmental changes possibly brought about by a changing climate, which possibly lead to the eventual extinction of certain species (nature in other words) with the mild and lovely modern warm period in an attempt to terrify children is utter evil, yet it’s what you zombies love to do.

fred250
Reply to  Loydo
January 22, 2021 3:26 pm

“Got anything to add?”

.
You certainly haven’t..

you have yet again produced a load of garbled nonsense..

… bereft of facts or rational thought..

beng135
Reply to  Loydo
January 22, 2021 6:06 am

Loydo, looks like you have a corner on the negatives-market. Way ta go.

fred250
Reply to  Loydo
January 22, 2021 3:24 pm

“At least they aren’t entirely vacuous.”

.
Sorry, loy-moron

But your posts are ALWAYS totally vacuous.

Totally vacuous is your meme. !

John Tillman
January 21, 2021 6:43 am

Woolly mammoths survived on Wrangel Island until about 2000 BC.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2021 8:11 am

As I recollect, there is also evidence that they survived on the Channel Islands in Southern California for about as long. Presumably because they were not hunted by humans there. There is a big difference in the climate between Wrangel Island and the Channel Islands!

John Tillman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 1:55 pm

The Channel Island Pygmy Mammoths were dwarf Colombian Mammoths, not Woollies. They appear to have died out early in the Holocene, c. 11 Ka.

Sea level was still lower then and the Islands more accessible.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
January 22, 2021 6:41 pm

Columbian. Named for the river, not the country Colombia.

bonbon
Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2021 9:09 am

Those were much smaller though.

David Streeter
January 21, 2021 6:44 am

Gee, I guess we don’t know as much as we think. How about a little intelligent skepticism? That seems to be or should be the essence of science.

January 21, 2021 6:45 am

 ‘overkill’ by human hunters
I never really thought that small groups of men with pointy sticks could wipe out a species like that.
A changing environment, more likely

John Tillman
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 8:04 am

Mammoths had survived many glacial-interglacial cycles before. The previous interglacial and many before it were warmer than the Holocene. Woolies and other mammoth species got through them just fine.

The difference in the Holocene was modern human hunters.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2021 11:06 am

I think the habitat disruption that would have accompanied the onset of glacial interstadials and interglacials would have been pretty severe. Most, if not all, of the well-preserved mammoths appear to have been killed by flash floods and rapidly buried in mud.

I think skilled human hunters, possibly with a significant assist from newly domesticated dogs was just too much for the large megafauna to deal with.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
January 21, 2021 11:31 am

If the gestation rate of Mammoths was anything like that of elephants, men wouldn’t have had to kill too many of them in order to put their population into permanent decline.

Waza
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 2:58 pm

Mark
That is my understanding.
Hunter gatherers counting go like this, 1, 2, 3, a lot.
If a valley or island started with a 1000 mammoths, when humans arrived, that’s a lot.
After several human generations there might be 800 in the valley which is still a lot.
Humans may have been able to pass down important information about hunting techniques, the seasons, where watering holes were, the environment, but they couldn’t possibly know the incremental changes they themselves were making over the generations.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 8:15 am

An interesting question to be answered is how and why the biggest and most dangerous megafauna became extinct, while the American Bison numbered in the billions with the arrival of Europeans.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 9:03 am

Communicable disease is never mentioned…..

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  DMacKenzie
January 21, 2021 5:44 pm

DM
But, we’re talking about just one species with a communicable disease. There were many species in different habitats, across a wide range of latitudes. The one thing they all seem to share in common is gigantism. The dire wolves died out, but the grey wolf didn’t. The sabre tooth cat died out, but the puma didn’t (OK, maybe it hid out in South America, but there is evidence of humans in SA at least 30,000 years ago.) The huge Pleistocene bison apparently evolved into the modern plains bison. Why eat only the largest herbivores AND predators when there were ample supplies of smaller but adequate food sources? I think that there are still a lot of unanswered questions about why some species become extinct while others, filling similar ecological niches, survive much longer.

Intelligent Dasein
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 7:03 pm

Be careful when actually applying critical thought to this problem. You are interfering with Tillman’s and Middleton’s chauvinistic ego trips.

fred250
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
January 22, 2021 3:27 pm

oh look , another leftist SJW having a hissy-fit of deep victimisation.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Intelligent Dasein
January 23, 2021 11:41 am

ID
I fit right in. I have no issues of being insecure or feeling inadequate, and have a robust ego, as do most who comment here, even the trolls. Take griff, how could anyone who is wrong so often continue to comment unless he thought very highly of himself?

RobR
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 1:07 pm

One possible explanation can be found here:

http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.pe.045

lackawaxen123
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 9:34 am

small groups of men hunting a very small number of mammoths over hundreds of years … think again …

On the outer Barcoo
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 10:08 am

With the demise of large animals, large predators were deprived of their food and so began disappearing in tandem. Mankind was very much at the bottom of the food chain and the demise of the predators allowed their survival. The hunting prowess of ancient humans is a fiction born of chutzpah … large animals such as elephants, rhinos and hippos are still to be found in Africa, as are predatory big cats.

MarkW
Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
January 21, 2021 11:34 am

Bottom of the food chain? Hardly?
As per elephants, humans and elephants developed at the same time so were adapted to each other.
Mammoths and the other mega fauna had never encountered humans before.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 1:52 pm

Sorry for saying the same below before reading comments backwards.

Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 3:32 pm

Mark W
I agree.
Indeed, my guess – as a bum boatie – is that the naivete of the animals [no experience of apes that can harm at a distance] may well ber the crucial factor.
Was climate change involved?
Might have been.
Was something else involved?
Might have been.
But humans – like you and me – were involved, and, crucially [I think] were a novel threat.

My speculations.
Perhaps read Quaternary Extinctions [Martin & Klein Eds. of 1989] for some background and discussion.

Be safe

Auto
The ‘Guns, Germs & Steel’ chap wrote about his – 20th century – experiences in New Guinea

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 10:29 am

Loss of genetic diversity in layman’s terms. Loss genetic heterozygosity as its called by geneticists and biologists. Same thing that’s killing the Tasmanian Devils. They are all genetically from the same stock.

paul courtney
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 10:42 am

Mr. W.: Thank you for enlightening us, you have clearly put alot of time, research and thought into this.
Now please spend five seconds reading Mr. Tillman below, two more seconds to think, then enlighten yourself.

MarkW
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 11:30 am

Don’t discount the amount of damage “pointy sticks” can do when wielded by some who’s both strong, and knows how to wield “pointy sticks”.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 1:51 pm

Cooperative hunting by teams armed with Clovis points and atlatls did k!ll mammoths. The points have been found in their remains. Hunters would have concentrated on females and their young. Extinction follows.

African and Asian elephants survived because they were used to humans. Eurasian and American mammoths were naive.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2021 5:56 pm

African elephants appear to be fairly smart and capable of learning. Your suggestion about mammoths and mastodons would seem to only be plausible if they were slow learners. They may have been. There aren’t any around to observe.

John Tillman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 22, 2021 4:23 pm

Clovis hunters wiped them out locally, then advanced to new areas with naive herds. Mammoths were smart but lacked means of communicating with others hundreds of miles away to warn them of the new threat.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  John Tillman
January 23, 2021 11:51 am

John
Interesting hypothesis. However, how is it that the mammoths and mastodons were wiped out, but the Indians were unable to even make a dent in the bison population, even with mass ‘keellings’ at Buffalo Jumps?

I would imagine that the hunters were not always successful in attempts to ‘keell’ a mammoth, and the ones that survived would be wary of humans after that (unless very stupid), and others in a herd might have observed the unsuccessful attack(s) and also learned about the danger.

John Tillman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 23, 2021 1:41 pm

Bison are fast, as I know from having raised them, smaller and breed faster than did mammoths.

Clovis people did wipe out the larger Ice Age species of bison, such as B. latifrons.
comment image

Mr.
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 1:55 pm

Maybe they used those ropey things like in Star Wars to lasso the mammoths around the legs and bring them crashing down?

Richard Page
Reply to  Mr.
January 21, 2021 2:45 pm

Or those little hide and wood hanglider jobbies to drop rocks on them perhaps?

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Matthew W
January 21, 2021 4:25 pm

Mammoth populations were held at a small fraction of carrying capacity by megafauna predators. Predator/prey dynamics controlled the populations of both. Human hunters new to the scene did not need to k*ll every last mammoth to cause extinction. The replacement rate was exceeded by removing only a percentage of the existing population. When the herbivores declined, the predator populations also fell. Humans substituted other foods, but saber-tooth tigers had no alternatives.

Large, slow-moving herbivores were easy to harvest. Smaller and fleeter herbivores such as deer and bison replaced them. It is suggested below that bison numbered “in the billions” at Contact. That is not true. Bison populations were also held far below carrying capacity by human predation, although they were not quite driven to extinction — until firearms were used.

The pre-Contact residents were skilled hunters with ample weaponry and sophisticated tactics. The “pointy sticks” remark above is a kind of unscientific and a-historical prejudice that smacks of ignorance.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 21, 2021 6:00 pm

👍👍

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 21, 2021 6:08 pm

OK, I had a ‘Sagan moment’ and got carried away. Will you buy 60,000,000?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_bison

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2021 8:55 pm

No, Mr. Spencer, I don’t buy it. The Wiki statement is unsupported. There is much debate on this. It may have been that fewer than 20 million bison were present by the early 1800’s.

Moreover, by then the indigenous human population had decreased 95% since 1500 due largely to introduced Old World diseases. These diseases spread long before face-to-face contacts with Euros. The hunting pressure had likewise decreased and bison populations were irrupting by the 1800’s. In 1500 the bison population may have been less than 5 million.

Bison behaviors exhibit human avoidance. That is an adaptation after 16,000+ years of hunting pressure. Other (larger, slower) megafauna may have been less wary.

In “The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains” (1995) historian Elliot West speculates that bison might have gone extinct were it not for “aboriginal buffer zones”: areas that warring tribes eschewed for fear of conflict. In “Wilderness & Political Ecology” (2002) Dr. Charles E. Kay notes that aboriginal buffer zones were common and had proportionally more game than higher use areas.

The issue is complex. Simplistic hypotheses leaning on climate change fail to consider the complexities.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 23, 2021 11:55 am

“Simplistic hypotheses leaning on climate change fail to consider the complexities.”

I don’t disagree. And in fact, I find most explanations of extinctions in general to be wanting.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 21, 2021 7:06 am

All those climate catastrophists. They didn’t notice the elephant in the tundra.

fretslider
January 21, 2021 7:14 am

Once this new discovery can be confirmed, the whole idea of an abrupt climate catastrophe wiping out the wholly mammoth and other Pleistocene species in one fell swoop is likely to go the way of the Dodo.

Hang on, the science is settled.The experterati say so.

‘Climate change killed off mammoths’
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-24044215

Yet more naked heresy.

January 21, 2021 7:54 am

Since they survived the Eemian, the warmest periods of which are believed to have been several degrees Celsius warmer than the HCO‘s temperature peak, it is unlikely that the lesser warmth of the HCO killed off the mammoth.
comment image

I doubt that it was emissions from Fred Flintstone’s Stonebaker footmobile, either:
 ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍
comment image

Last edited 2 months ago by Dave Burton
Pablo
January 21, 2021 8:01 am

“The Younger Dryas (YD) was a sudden period of rapid cooling inferred from oxygen isotopic ratios (18O/16O) in the Greenland Ice Core (GISP2) beginning 12,834 ± 20 years ago and lasting approximately 1,300 years  . It followed a 5,000 year period of global warming after the last glacial period.”
https://beta.capeia.com/planetary-science/2019/06/03/disappearance-of-ice-age-megafauna-and-the-younger-dryas-impact 

Scissor
January 21, 2021 8:10 am

I saw one at Biden’s inauguration. No one else saw it.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2021 10:24 am

I thought it was Hillary.

Richard Page
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2021 11:08 am

I think that was Bernie Sanders – he certainly looked like he was going extinct!

leowaj
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2021 11:21 am

No, that was a Camel not a Woolly Mammoth. Her name is “Camel Toes”.

eyesonu
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2021 4:59 pm

Could you ascertain that it did not have camel toes?

eyesonu
Reply to  eyesonu
January 21, 2021 5:06 pm

I should have refreshed the page before posting. Someone else beat me to it!

PCman999
January 21, 2021 8:35 am

The very idea that the mammoths would be threatened by their habitat getting slightly warmer shows how brainwashed scientists have become. How could mammoths die off because of milder conditions and longer growing seasons for the vegetation that they eat? If predators benefited more from those conditions and killed all the mammoths faster than they could make baby mammoths, then that’s extinction because they couldn’t compete or adapt to the situation, not due to climate change. One needs to look at the direct cause because similarly change climates won’t cause the same result, as the mammoths survived even more warmer periods than one ~10,000 yrs ago.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  PCman999
January 21, 2021 9:01 am

Human presence easily explain it. If mammoths have calf every 5 years, hunting one down every 4 years depletes their population over a few hundred years. Add to that possibility of disease from hunter’ dog’s lice….

MarkW
Reply to  PCman999
January 21, 2021 11:37 am

Warmer temperatures can also change the type of vegetation that is growing. Especially if that warmer temperature is accompanied by a change in rainfall patterns.
Mammoth were adapted to a particular type of vegetation. If a different type of vegetation started to grow in the places they frequented, they may not have been able to adapt to it.

For example, if climate change caused the grasslands to change into forest lands, then the mammoths would go hungry if they couldn’t fit their bodies between the tree trunks.

Last edited 2 months ago by MarkW
Richard Page
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 12:39 pm

Why couldn’t an animal that was far larger than the modern elephant have uprooted said tree trunk if it was between it and food? Apart from that fun image, I do think that a change in vegetation might be far more significant than any changes in temperature.

MarkW
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 1:16 pm

They can rip up smaller trees, the problem is that trees grow faster than a small number of mammoths could rip them up. Beyond that, why would they want to rip them up in the first place. When the trees start growing, grass is still plentiful. By the time the grass is running out, the trees are too well established to get rid of.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 6:02 pm

There were at least 3 species of New World mammoths: Mammuthus meridionalis, M. imperator, and M. columbi. There were also two species of mastodons: Mammut americanum, and M. pacificus. They all went extinct.

Proboscidea lived across the Americas all the way to southern Chile. Stomach contents of Woolly mammoths only have been found (frozen) and consisted of grasses, sedges, various herbaceous plants, leaves, twigs, roots, fruits, and tree bark. However, given the range of the extinct species and knowledge about African and Asian elephant diets today, we can surmise that they ate a huge variety of vegetation.

Trees do not stop elephants — there are “forest elephants” in Africa and SE Asia today. Armchair off-the-wall hypotheses need a least a smattering of facts to be taken seriously.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 6:18 pm

I have read that the honey locust tree evolved thorns to discourage mastodons from browsing on them. That implies an animal similar in size to the mammoth lived in forested areas. There have been many instances where a herbivore has had its normal browse or preferred grazing cut off and they resort to eating anything and everything that grows out of the ground. So, I’m dubious that mammoths lived on buttercups alone and wouldn’t resort to eating anything green to survive.

John Tillman
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 1:37 pm

Woolies weren’t far larger than modern elephants. Some other mammoth species were larger.

Loydo
Reply to  PCman999
January 21, 2021 2:34 pm

“The very idea that the mammoths would be threatened by their habitat getting slightly warmer shows how brainwashed scientists have become.”

http://independentaustralia.net/wordpress-opt/wp-content/2013/06/maki_science_neutrino.gif

Last edited 2 months ago by Loydo
Richard Page
Reply to  Loydo
January 21, 2021 2:49 pm

Yes exactly. One fact supported by real world observable data that can be replicated by another scientist will overturn ANY scientific theory. Unsupported opinion will just be treated with healthy scepticism.

Rhys Read
Reply to  PCman999
January 21, 2021 2:52 pm

A slightly warmer climate could have harmed the wooly mammoth by extending the range of the more biologically successful bison, encroaching and limiting the range of the mammoths. That’s the theoretical threat to current arctic animals.

Richard Page
Reply to  Rhys Read
January 21, 2021 3:34 pm

Only if you can prove that the Bison was, in fact, more biologically successful. The fact that it survived and the Mammoth didn’t may support your argument or it might be because of other factors.

UNGN
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 5:38 pm

It would interesting if somebody did and genetic analysis of North American Elk herds to look for a genetic choke point that point to a “climate disaster”

If they hinted at blaming global warming, Biden would fund it, but it could potentially point to a cosmic impact. The Bison’s choke point now would be 1873, so that would be worthless, unless the 150 year old DNA from Museum bones is still viable

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Page
January 21, 2021 6:20 pm

RP
Apparently the bison that were contemporaneous with mammoths didn’t survive. They evolved into the smaller, modern bison.

Richard Page
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 22, 2021 3:14 am

Interesting. The one constant, across every argument and species, is that the smaller animals survived when the megafauna went extinct. Even to the point of species evolving into a smaller, more survivable, sized animal. Very interesting.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Richard Page
January 23, 2021 12:01 pm

One might even be tempted to generalize and suggest that something common to mass extinctions is that evolution experiments with gigantism prior to population declines.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rhys Read
January 22, 2021 6:48 pm

Large Ice Age bison species did go extinct. The smaller species didn’t.

TheFinalNail
January 21, 2021 8:40 am

Mammoths survived on mainland N America outside the Yukon until ~10,500 y ago and on isolated islands for thousands of years after that. Whatever killed the Yukon mammoths, those on St. Paul Island, Alaska, which survived until ~5,600 y ago, were almost certainly killed by climate changes (land area lost to sea level rise and declining freshwater resources). There is no evidence of human presence on St Paul before 1787, so the extinction wasn’t related to hunting.

See ‘Timing and causes of mid-Holocene mammoth extinction on St. Paul Island, Alaska’ (Graham et al. 2016): CE.https://www.pnas.org/content/113/33/9310

John Tillman
Reply to  TheFinalNail
January 21, 2021 1:46 pm

Mammoths went extinct because they were stuck on uninhabited islands, after having been wiped out on the continents.

TheFinalNail
Reply to  John Tillman
January 22, 2021 2:03 am

Possibly, but the above study suggests that island populations were gradually killed off by the effects of a warming climate.

RobR
January 21, 2021 8:40 am

This a rather narrow view of the extinction of a large group of North American mega-fauna.

1. The changing climate definitely pressured these animals, as they were not adapted to the extreme temperature swings inherent in a warmer climate. For example, in the plains, summer temps can reach 100F in the summer and -20F in the winter.

2. Hunting pressure may have been a factor but early Paleo-Indian populations were too small to cause a mass extinction event alone.

3. Evidence of survival beyond previous estimates is entirely compatible with how extinctions occur. The remaining animals are forced to complete for dwindling resources.

Leaps of logic, propelled by wishful thinking are a disservice to the members of this community.

lackawaxen123
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 9:37 am

the leap of logic was to assume a single climate event wiped them out …

RobR
Reply to  lackawaxen123
January 21, 2021 10:26 am

Placing all of the extinction eggs in a single basket, and assuming monolithic scientific consensus provides a convenient Straw-Man.

Perhaps, competing theories are more nuanced than we suppose, and not mutually exclusive.

Attempting to slay a non-existent, ignores the ubiquitous Mammoth in the room…….A dramatic temperature spike brought us out of the Ice Age.

Loydo
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 11:33 pm

I am agreeing with everything you’ve written here Rob. I will add though, that it’s probably no coincidence so much global mega-fauna went extinct at the end of the recent glaciation and not the previous one.

Richard Page
Reply to  RobR
January 22, 2021 3:20 am

“A dramatic temperature spike brought us out of the Ice Age.” Agreed and yet the temperature spike was lower than in previous interglacials (Greenland ice cores and examination of remaining ice on Greenland prove this) so why would this one, by itself, cause an extinction of mammoths when they would have survived more extreme temperature fluctuations in the past? It simply doesn’t make sense.

MarkW
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 11:40 am

Good thing nobody has ever claimed that hunting from proto-indians was the sole cause of these extinctions.

Richard Page
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 12:45 pm

I still can’t subscribe to the temperature theory – these are animals that have survived extreme cold during ice ages and extreme heat during previous interglacials. They would have been through periods with the same temperature range before and come out the other side. I think there were other contributing factors.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 6:14 pm

Again, Proboscidea lived throughout the Americas all the way to southern Chile across a range of climates. Yet they all went extinct.

Temperature extremes in Beringia were probably non-different from northern prairies today. Even so, there were (now extinct) megafauna in Equatorial regions, too. The warmth of post-LGM Americas expanded habitats and increased vegetation. “Resources” didn’t dwindle — they grew exponentially.

The climate change hypothesis doesn’t hold water. The disservice to this community is to keep pushing junk theories.

RobR
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 21, 2021 7:06 pm

Mike,
Drawing attention to extinctions that obviously occurred, hardly advances a case against any inferences I made.

Here’s my main point: Intimating that a rollback in when Mammoths become instinct, somehow proves that climate change doesn’t cause extinction events, is misguided at best.

There is an entire cadre of Alarmists who revel in poking fun at Sceptics for being buffoons. The piece in question, is based on a misguided attempt to refute theories on an extinction event that has nothing to do with CAGW.

I guess, it comes down to quantity versus quality. Five – six posts a day may pay the bills but sometimes, less really is more.

Ask yourself what happened to all of the credentialed Scientists who used to post on WUWT?

Richard Page
January 21, 2021 8:43 am

Whatever happened to the extinction theory that suggested repeated events stressed a species, weakening it until it died out at a later date? It seems more reasonable than this current popular craziness.

Sara
January 21, 2021 8:59 am

These large hairy beasts (and let’s NOT forget the Mastodons!) are related to elephants. The elephants that have been dying off in Botswana have died of toxicity from cyanobacteria. The only way to find out what really killed of the Big Hairy Four-leggers is to find one intact somewhere and see if there’s anything in its GI tract that might be a HINT.

It’s a mystery to me why the “experts” think they know something when they don’t even look around. Hairy critters are everywhere and survive both heat and cold quite well. How (and why) this escapes the “experts” is beyond me, but so far, I haven’t seen any reports of wolves or coyotes dying off because of a hot summer, and there a plenty of hairy coyotes around here in wooded areas.

RobR
Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2021 9:43 am

Interesting thoughts. Yet, we are faced with three undeniable facts: Annimals adapt to and occupy specific niches. A large spike in global temperature ended the last I’ve Age. A mass extinction event killed off a large number of Mega-Fauna.

The existence of the remaining species of canines, bears, and other hairy animals is indicative of adaptability and little else.

MarkW
Reply to  RobR
January 21, 2021 11:42 am

Some animals adapt to specific niches. The successful ones are able to adapt to a wide variety of environments.

RobR
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 1:12 pm

Exactly right. It’s been sometime since reading on the subject but one plausible theory relates to a shift in graze due to changing weather and climate patterns.

I found this quick read on the subject:

http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.pe.045

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 6:27 pm

But part of the problem is that cave bears became extinct, but we still have bears. Mammoths and mastodons became extinct, but elephants survived at least in Asia (and Africa) where they were almost certainly hunted as well.

John Tillman
Reply to  RobR
January 22, 2021 6:52 pm

The megafauna extinctions, as the name indicates, disproportionately affected the biggest animals.

Richard Page
Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2021 12:47 pm

Size and the amount of food needed by an animal could be a key differential between these species – which could support the idea of their food source becoming more scarce.

Sara
Reply to  Sara
January 21, 2021 1:58 pm

Losing grazing range to weather events like drought and flooding makes more sense than saying they succumbed to warm weather. Drought can kill off plants in a grazing range and can do more ham than any change in temperature, local or widespread. Drought also dries up water resources.
Considering the size of mammoths and mastodons (they are about the same size) there was probably a lot of competition for food resources and water and if a prolonged drought occurred, both would suffer. Which species would suffer more is open to debate, of course, but that’s one possibility: competing for food and water resources.

John Tillman
Reply to  Sara
January 22, 2021 4:39 pm

Mastodons and mammoths inhabited different environments. The former favored woodlands, while the latter more open habitats.

The Americas also supported gomphotheres, for a total of three families in Order Proboscidea.

dscott
Reply to  Sara
January 22, 2021 7:02 am

It makes sense… Put on the critical thinking cap, would native Americans or First Nation indigenous peoples go for Mammoths when caribou and musk ox are available? If you’re going to hunt for food, you don’t select the most lethal animal to you, you select the most vulnerable. What’s the rational choice as a matter of availability and danger? The most plentiful and least dangerous. All predators in the wild make that calculation, mankind is no different in this respect.

So the pecking order would be:
1. the caribou the prime target on land.
2 seals in the water.
3 musk ox (they form a defensive perimeter facing out)

After these three, the lethality increases tremendously. Why go for a Mammoth? Polar bear? Wolf? Of those 3, the Mammoth would be the last to hunt.

Then you have the one offs like rabbit, fox and beaver. Lot’s of running, meaning traps to get those ones but in terms of food per unit of effort, on an individual basis that might be ok but for a village or hunting party those only sustain you on the hunt but not the village.

Think about it, there are literally 10s of thousands of caribou around today, you think those numbers were any less then? IF Mammoths were supposedly hunted to extinction, then it follows there would be no caribou or musk ox either.

John Tillman
Reply to  dscott
January 22, 2021 4:42 pm

The largest, lowest in number and more slowly breeding animals are most vulnerable to extinction.

The fact is that Clovis people did hunt mammoths by various means, not all dangerous.

bonbon
January 21, 2021 9:18 am

Just a thought.
The Siberian modular spears found from 28,000BP could be re-headed at full sprint from a quiver. The heads designed to break off basically each contributing to the slaughter.
Every part of the animal used for food, fat, leather, tent poles.

Still when one reads of DNA samples, how about RNA or a pandemic? Today we see whole herds culled to stop virus pandemics, just look as African swine-flu.
I am sure such animal pandemics did not start with domestic herds.

dk_
January 21, 2021 9:25 am

Funny, isn’t it, how fiction and screen writer Louis L’Amour made this same claim for years based on native American legend.

John Tillman
Reply to  dk_
January 22, 2021 7:24 pm

L’Amour’s story had mastodons surviving possibly as late as AD 1700, not mammoths living some few thousands of years after their traditional demise around 11,000 years ago.

He based this belief on hunting tales in Ponca ethnography, but the animals described could have been any number of recent prey species.

The pattern of mastodon extinction argues for over-hunting rather than climate change:

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4020-8793-6_4

Russ
January 21, 2021 9:42 am

I don’t quite understand. The woolly mammoth died because of global warming, but flowers being chewed in their flash frozen mouths seems a bit of stretch.

CO2isLife
January 21, 2021 9:45 am

BTW, how did CO2 cause the end of an ice age? Clearly natural warming can be rapid and substantial. Why do ice ages start when CO2 is at a peak? Does anyone bother to ask the most basic questions in the field of Climate “Science?” Before I pointed the finger at CO2, I’d first try to explain the unexplainable.

fred250
Reply to  CO2isLife
January 21, 2021 1:22 pm

In the Vostok ice cores..

… peak CO2 was NEVER able maintain peak temperatures.

In fact , as you say…

at peak CO2, the temperature was always FALLING

Phil
January 21, 2021 10:09 am

In a secularized society, science has replaced God and CO2 has replaced Satan. The Devil done it.

Mr. Lee
January 21, 2021 10:15 am

Fun fact: Van Halen was originally called Mammoth.

Joel O'Bryan
January 21, 2021 10:22 am

“supposed extinction”?????

Richard Page
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 21, 2021 11:12 am

Yeah. Lack of context there. ‘Supposed extinction date’ would be slightly clearer. They’re not disputing the extinction, just the when.

MarkW
January 21, 2021 11:23 am

“Not only do these techniques get more DNA, but they get more diverse DNA,”

I question whether what they are getting is DNA at all.

I thought that for DNA to survive for thousands of years, it has to be protected from the environment, such as inside teeth or bones.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 1:42 pm

It lasts longer when frozen.

MarkW
Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2021 6:28 pm

How did it get into the soil, if the soil was frozen?

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2021 4:46 pm

Shed skin and hair in summer thawed boggy soil, covered with layers of dust, then frozen. Similar to how whole mammoth carcasses got frozen into the tundra permafrost. Sometimes they died in water, but they also shed into rivers and lakes.

D. Cohen
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2021 2:13 pm

Can we say “false positives” like for a misleading covid test? I would like to see at least a fragment or two of the original animal — even just a footprint or a coprolite would do.

D. Cohen
Reply to  D. Cohen
January 21, 2021 7:01 pm

Take some soil from so long ago we know there’s no mammoth DNA in it — say from the age of Dinosaurs — and see how many times the tests indicate — falsely — that the DNA is present.

Brian Johnston
January 21, 2021 2:14 pm

Graph: Temperature curve last fifteen thousand years. NB Green line.
We came out of the last ice age staring about 13,000 BC
At 12,000 BC we crashed back into it.
It bounced back And force and pulled out about 10,000 years BC.
The mammoths were found with buttercups in their mouths.
Conclusion: They were standing in a meadow when it snowed. They were totally engulfed and died. Their may have been a few survivors though not enough to keep the species going.

Sara
Reply to  Brian Johnston
January 21, 2021 4:19 pm

Village in southwest Jordan (stone houses, still standing, recently discovered) was built around 18,000 years ago
Stone towers in Syria were constructed roughly 15,000 years ago
The Younger Dryas began around 12,500 years ago and that is a cold period.
The snows of Kilimanjaro piled up starting around about 10,000 years ago. (Still there, if you want to visit) But was that snow just bad weather, or a hint of something else?
And then we started building more villages and then the Industrial Revolution (OK, OK< I”m compressing things here!) and lots of carbon-based fuel in the form of coal, which can be turned into coking coal to make better steel.
It may just be that the only reason we’re in a reasonably warm period is that we produce just enough CO2 to trap a little heat and keep us from freezing to death. Take that away and we might just return to a Very Cold Period with short growing seasons, loss of water resources (locked up in ice formations), loss of food crops to iceburgers – stuff like that.
If that comes off as simplified, it is. The Waalian Warm Period (70,000 years long) preceded the Nebraska Warm Period (140,000 years long) (on this continent; don’t have anything for South America, sorry) and all those megafauna critters in North America managed to survive. Ditto critters like wolf cubs and mammoths over in Siberia: something flash froze them, no idea what but could have been anything.
So, if the big 4-leggers like mammoths were running out of grazing foods, it’s entirely possible that (aside from being chased by hunters) they were going hungry and consuming anything, including trees.
A mastodon skeleton was found in someone’s back yard near me about two years ago, not a youngster, either. What else is lying under tons of dirt around here?
I would not take this warm period for granted, that’s all.

UNGN
January 21, 2021 5:26 pm

A pet peeve of mine is when people call generic Mammoths “Woolly Mammoths”. Sure the Mammoths in the Yukon were likely Woolly but Mammoths that lived in Texas were not Wooly.

John Tillman
Reply to  UNGN
January 22, 2021 4:49 pm

The recovered DNA was of woollies. Arctic conditions preserve DNA better.

AndyHce
January 22, 2021 3:15 am

It is absurd to think that this interglacial’s arrival was any different than the other twenty or so in the past three million years or that woolly mammoths and the other recently extinct large manuals all evolved just during the last glacial stage.

January 22, 2021 3:43 pm

I thought that mammoths had survived till only 5000 years ago on Novaya Zemlya, Russia.

John Tillman
Reply to  Phil Salmon
January 22, 2021 4:50 pm

About 4 Ka on Wrangel Island.

Richard Briscoe
January 23, 2021 10:53 am

This is old news. It was discovered years ago that mammoths on Wrangel Island, in the Russian arctic, survived until just 4,000 years ago.

Muskrat
January 24, 2021 3:05 pm

I watched a show recently that the domestication of wolves into domestic dogs may have impacted the megafauna. The migrated humans from Asia brought the dogs with them. The dogs carried fleas, etc. that could have spread new diseases to the Megafauna. The resulting loss of the game, warming environment and maybe disease from the dogs also resulted in the extinction of the Sabre-toothed tiger. Look what fleas and the Plague did to Midevil Europe.

Steve Z
February 1, 2021 10:40 am

Why would anyone think that the woolly mammoth went extinct due to a warming climate?

If woolly mammoths had an appetite similar to that of modern elephants (which only live in tropical climates in the wild), they would need to live near forests to have a sufficient food supply. There may have been forests in Siberia prior to the first ice age, but even without glaciation, the current climate of Siberia cannot support forests, or supply enough food for an elephant-sized herbivore.

It was likely a sudden cooling of the climate, at the start of the first ice age, that caused massive deaths by starvation of mammoths in Siberia. While some of them may have migrated south to escape the ice, it is not clear whether the climate at the southern edge of the glaciers could have supported the forests the mammoths would need to survive.

In todays’ climate, there is high rainfall and snowfall during summer and early autumn (when the Arctic shores are ice-free), but the climate becomes very dry in late autumn, winter, and early spring when sea ice reaches the shore, reducing the possibility for evaporation.

Prior to the first ice age, if the climate was warm enough so that the Arctic shores remained ice-free year-round, northern Siberia would have had a wetter climate than now, due to increased evaporation from open water, which could have supported growth of forests.

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