|The spreading of mammoths (Pleistocene) and woolly
rhinoceroses (Pleistocene, Holocene) in Eurasia and America
the Ice Age very unusual kinds of animals lived in Siberia. Many of them already are now
extinct. The mammoth was the largest of them. All animals, living simultaneously with a
mammoth, are classified by paleontologists as mammoth fauna complex (Mammoth Fauna).
The significant part of these animals has died out in the end of Pleistocene,
beginning of Holocene (about 10 thousands years ago), because they could not get used to
new climatic conditions. The mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, large-horned deer, primeval
bison, primeval horse, cave lion, cave bear, cave hyena, primeval aurochs are examples of
mammoth fauna from the large died kinds.
But many representatives of mammoths fauna could adapt to warming of climate and
modifications of environment in the Holocene. They have survived, and live on the Earth
even today. Some of them had to move to more northern areas. For example, northern deer,
polar fox and lemming now live only in tundra. Other, such as saigas and camel, had left
to the south in dry steppes. The yak and musk-ox had gone to snow mountains and live now
only on the very limited area. The elk, wolf and wolverine had adapted perfectly to life
in a wood zone.
All these animals was very different, they differed by sizes, appearance, image of
life. They belonged to various specific groups, but they had one significant similarity -
they were adapted to life in a severe climate of the Ice Age. At this time majority from
them has acquired a warm fur cover — reliable guard from frosts and wind. Many kinds of
animals have increased their sizes. A large mass and thick hypodermic fat helped them to
stand easier the severe climate.
Hundreds thousand years - is a huge time interval, and most diverse modifications
in the nature happened for this time, the glacier occurred and receded, after it the
natural zones moved. The animals migration areas were reduced and extended. Animals varied
also, some kinds disappeared , and others came. The scientists think, that even for short
periods of warming the sizes of many animals kinds decreased, and when temperature dropped
the animal sizes increased. The large animals easier stood cold, but they needed more food
to eat. And during the last warming in the Holocene Age woods replaced tundra and steppes,
the shrubby and grassy vegetation was reduced, the fodder basis of herbivorous hardly
decreased. That is why the largest animals of the Mammoth Fauna died out.
|Pictures of the
animals of Mammoth Fauna