Paleontologist Releases Most Accurate Map Yet of Woolly Mammoth Distribution

Prof Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke from the Senckenberg Research Station for Quaternary Paleontology in Weimar, Germany, has recorded the maximum geographic distribution of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius)during the most recent Ice Age, and prepared the most accurate global map in this regard.

Maximum extension of Mammuthus primigenius during the Late Pleistocene based on the current fossil record. Image credit: Ralf-Dietrich Kahlke, doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2015.03.023.

“The recent research findings show that during the last Ice Age, woolly mammoths were the most widely distributed large mammals, thus rightfully serving as a flagship species of the glacial era,” said Prof Kahlke, who authored a paper published in the journal Quaternary International.

He summarized the mammoth’s distribution during the most recent Ice Age (110,000 – 12,000 years ago) on a worldwide map, and determined a total distribution area of 33,301,000 sq. km for these extinct giants.

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