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Woolly Mammoths Study: More Males Died From Accidents Than Females

Image: Woolly Mammoths Study: More Males Died From Accidents Than Females

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By    |   Friday, 03 November 2017 02:49 PM

A new wooly mammoths study has shown that male mammoths were more likely to die untimely, accidental deaths than female mammoths.

Researchers looking at 95 sets of wooly mammoth remains from Siberia found that 66 of the specimens were male and 29 were female, Fox News reported. The specimens were more likely to be found in former ice pits, holes or mudflows—natural traps that caused their deaths but preserved the bodies better than other locations.

The study also found that mammoth herds were matriarchal, led by females, but that males may have spent time alone or in groups and engaged in riskier behavior than the female-led herds, Fox reported.

"Without the benefit of living in a herd led by an experienced female, male mammoths may have had a higher risk of dying in natural traps," study researcher and professor of evolutionary genetics at the Swedish Museum of Natural History Love Dalen said, Fox reported.

A previous study in South Dakota was even more male-dominated, with 13 of the 14 specimens being male, The New York Times reported.

University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher pointed out that remains consisting only of tusks should not be counted in the study, since male wooly mammoths often broke their tusks while fighting, but didn’t necessarily die that way, the NYT reported.

But study authors responded to this criticism by asserting that there were still more males than females even if tusks were removed from the samples, the NYT reported. The study authors acknowledged that the specimens they studied might not constitute a random sample of the species, Fox reported.

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A new wooly mammoths study has shown that male mammoths were more likely to die untimely, accidental deaths than female mammoths.
woolly mammoths, study, accident, deaths
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2017-49-03
Friday, 03 November 2017 02:49 PM
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