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Mammoth Graveyard

Although Great Woolly Mammoths were well adapted to survive in the frigid Arctic, they nevertheless became extinct around 10,000 years ago following the end of the Ice Age.

Living south of the ice sheets, they roamed the treeless landscape of rich, grassy vegetation all the way from Siberia to eastern North America.

Mammoths were relatively abundant. Their remains left behind so much ivory in Northern Asia that a trade in fossil mammoth tusks began in the Middle Ages and is still ongoing today in Russia.

The great ivory tusks were curved and very long - those of the largest males could be up to 15 feet / 4.8 meters long! Their curved shape and size indicate that they would have been used to uncover vegetation buried in the snow.

A storage cave in the Russian city of Khatanga, inside the Arctic Circle, is used to store ivory and other mammoth remains found on the Siberian Taymyr Penninsula. The cave is maintained at a dry and cold -12C / 10F. (Picture)

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