Tags: mammoths | died | thirst | alaska

Mammoths Died of Thirst, Trapped on Alaskan Island

Image: Mammoths Died of Thirst, Trapped on Alaskan Island

(Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 08:59 AM

Woolly mammoths died of thirst on an isolated Alaskan island, the last of their kind, cut off without clean freshwater by a rising sea some 5,600 years ago, according to a study reported on by the Alaska Dispatch News.

The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said the mammoths crowded onto St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea off western Alaska before melting glaciers boosted sea levels to the point that trapped them there.

The PNAS study said vegetation composition on the island stayed stable during the woolly mammoth's extinction period and there was no evidence of human presence on the island until 1787. Researchers said they did find the island experienced drier climates and declining freshwater reserves from about 7,850 to 5,600 years ago.

"Contrary to other extinction models for the St. Paul mammoth population, this evidence indicates that this mammoth population died out because of the synergistic effects of shrinking island area and freshwater scarcity caused by rising sea levels and regional climate change," the study said.

"Degradation of water quality by intensified mammoth activity around the lake likely exacerbated the situation. The St. Paul mammoth demise is now one of the best-dated prehistoric extinctions, highlighting freshwater limitation as an overlooked extinction driver and underscoring the vulnerability of small island populations to environmental change, even in the absence of human influence."

Russell Graham, professor of geosciences at Penn State University and lead author of the study, said the evidence indicating rising sea levels, lack of freshwater and the extinction seemed to fix together like a puzzle.

"It's amazing that everything turned out so precisely with dating of extinction at 5,600 plus or minus 100 years," he said. "We see a reduction in the three species of fungus, all of which are associated with the dung of large animals. These spores are a marker for the presence of large animals like mammoths."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Woolly mammoths died of thirst on an isolated Alaskan island, the last of their kind, cut off without clean freshwater by a rising sea level some 5,600 years ago.
mammoths, died, thirst, alaska
321
2016-59-03
Wednesday, 03 Aug 2016 08:59 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved