AUG 18, 2016 10:50 AM PDT

Did the Mammoth Go Extinct Because of Water Shortages?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

What happened to the mammoth that caused the species to go extinct in many regions?
 

The mammoth went extinct just a few thousand years ago, and climate change may have been to blame.

 Image via BBC

Scientists believe that a lack of water probably played a big role in their Houdini act. The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
Although they were commonly hunted by humans thousands of years ago in some regions, climate change reportedly affected the world around the mammoths in others, making it harder to find sources of water to drink. As a result, many of them probably died from dehydration.
 
Because they were creatures built for an Ice Age-like world, the Earth became a very hard place to live on as the planet started to warm up and the vast amounts of ice started to melt. When this happened, ocean water swallowed up what fresh water sources were available, leaving very little drinkable water for the creatures to slurp up.
 
Having to share what water was left wasn’t exactly an easy task. Many mammoths would gather into one place at once, not only consuming the limited water resources that were available, but also contaminating them and making them undrinkable.
 
"As the other lakes dried up, the animals congregated around the water holes. They were milling around, which would destroy the vegetation - we see this with modern elephants," said lead author Prof Russel Graham. “And this allows for the erosion of sediments to go into the lake, which is creating less and less fresh water. The mammoths were contributing to their own demise."

If mammoths were anything like elephants, they needed to drink a lot of water, and such constraints would have been detrimental to their existence. Modern elephants drink up to about 50 gallons of water each day.
 
This theory seems to fall in line with the lack of evidence that any human contact existed in some regions. This would rule out human hunting as a cause for their total extinction and put more fault in the planet’s climate.

Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 08, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 08, 2020
Pumas Struggle to Take Down Guanacos
Pumas, like other large cats, are predacious animals that seek large prey capable of sustaining themselves and their cub ...
MAR 22, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 22, 2020
The Evolutionary Origins of the Human Hand
An ancient fish fossil has given researchers new insight into how fish fins eventually evolved into human hands.
APR 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 19, 2020
A Bullfrog Father Saves His Tadpoles From Certain Death
Most recognize the African bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) as one of Africa’s largest known frogs, but there&rsq ...
MAY 13, 2020
Health & Medicine
MAY 13, 2020
Studying Skates for the Future of Cartilage Therapy
According to the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at the University of Chicago, nearly 25% of Americans have arthritis ...
MAY 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 19, 2020
Seabirds Often Deal with Thieves When Scouting for Food
In the bird world, parental units will often split responsibilities. One typically stays behind at the nest to protect t ...
MAY 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 31, 2020
These Penguin Chicks Now Face the Trials of Adulthood
Like any other bird species, adult penguins follow the tried and true tradition of raising their young close to the nest ...
Loading Comments...