Mammuthus  primigenius


During the Pleistocene (the last Ice Age), many terrestrial mammals in North America, Europe, and northern Asia were covered in coarse hair.  The woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, is an extinct species of elephant whose remains are relatively common in Siberia.  Fossil woolly mammoths are not infrequently found with preserved soft parts (skin, muscles, guts, etc.) and hair.


Shown below is some fossil hair from a Siberian woolly mammoth.  Most of the hair is slightly reddish-brown in color, but this is likely not the original color (Lister & Bahn, 1994).  These are samples of the outer coat of a mammoth.  The hairs from a mammoth’s inner coat were finer and shorter.


Locality: Yakutia (likely from the Taimir Peninsula), northern Siberia, Russia.


Classification: Animalia, Vertebrata, Mammalia, Proboscidea, Elephantidae



Mammuthus primigenius Blumenbach, 1799 (centimeter scale) - fossil mammoth hair from the Late Pleistocene of Siberia.



Reference Cited


Lister, A. & P. Bahn.  1994.  Mammoths.  New York.  Macmillan.  168 pp.



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