Study takes unprecedented peek into life of 17,000-year-old mammoth
Jeff Richardson | University of Alaska, Fairbanks | August 12, 2021
An international research team has retraced the astonishing lifetime journey of an Arctic woolly mammoth, which covered enough of the Alaska landscape during its 28 years to almost circle the Earth twice.
Scientists gathered unprecedented details of its life through analysis of a 17,000-year-old fossil from the University of Alaska Museum of the North. By generating and studying isotopic data in the mammoth’s tusk, they were able to match its movements and diet with isotopic maps of the region.
Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, led an analysis of ancient DNA preserved in the mammoth’s remains, which provided additional insight into the animal’s life and behavior.