Interesting. A little light mammoth reading from Science 2015 for your Thursday morning.
Eurasian steppe mammoths crossed the Bering Land Bridge early during the Pleistocene (~1.9 million years BP) and colonized North America. They ecologically replaced stegomastodons over most of the continent but the ranges of both overlapped in Central America until the late Pleistocene. Mammoths never colonized South America where stegomastodons continued to flourish until human hunters arrived on the scene. Mammoths were probably better adapted than stegomastodons to the cooler more temperate climates that occurred over most of North America during the Pleistocene. Stegomastodons should not be confused with the American mastodon (Mammut americana) which co-existed with mammoths across most of North America for almost 2 million years. They were able to co-exist because these 2 species favored different ecological niches. Mammoths preferred higher drier grasslands, while mastodons were semi-aquatic denizens of wetlands.
Scientists long assumed mammoths that colonized North America evolved into a different species than Eurasian steppe mammoths. North…
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