MAMMOTH FROM WRANGEL ISLAND,
on the border of the East Siberian and Chukchi seas, NORTH-EAST ASIA
Woolly mammoths inhabited vast territories in Siberia, Beringia and North America in the Pleistocene and early Holocene. However, by the middle of the Holocene, about 4,000 years ago, all the mammoths on the mainland were extinct as a result of human extermination and climate change. The last isolated populations with a total population of only about 300 individuals remained only on the island of Wrangel in the North of Chukotka. About 3700 years ago they disappeared. Since humans had not yet reached Wrangel island, the extinction occurred due to natural causes, due to the very small size and isolation of the population.
Many believe that mammoths disappeared with the arrival of warming on our planet and the completion of the last glaciation, about 10-12 thousand years ago. But it turned out that it is not so: the last mammoths lived on Wrangel island about 4,000 L. B. – at a time when there existed a human civilization, for example, flourished Ancient Egypt, pyramids were built. Judging by the individual bones, these mammoths were very small in comparison with the giant relatives who had died out earlier on the continent.
Indeed, wildlife has changed greatly with the retreat of the glacier. Habitual habitats of mammoths disappeared: open spaces were occupied by forests. Several hundred years later -- and woolly mammoths, these giant elephants covered with hair, reaching a height of 4-6 m, became extinct around the globe. But there were mammoths and very small – frankly – dwarf, which have survived on some Islands in the Arctic. Their height did not exceed one and a half meters!
They were opened about 20 years ago. Why were they small? Often, the animals living on the Islands, in isolation from the continents, shallower. Perhaps it's due to lack of food or lack of threat from predators – they just don't need to be that huge. And this is typical not only for woolly mammoths. On the Channel Islands (off the coast of California (USA)) in the interval from 30 to 12 thousand L. B. lived another dwarf mammoth. His bone remains have been studied better. High this beast was up to no more than 2.5 m, and often less. There are dwarfs not only among mammoths, but also elephants. Several species of baby elephants lived on the Islands of the Mediterranean sea: Sicily, Malta, Cyprus. Elephant from the island of Sicily, which inhabited it about 9 thousand l. n., in height does not exceed 90 cm and I want to call it not an elephant, and elephant!