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Researchers Successfully Retraced The Steps Of A Female Woolly Mammoth Nicknamed “Elma” Using An Analysis Of A 14,000-Year-Old Tusk

The team discovered that the region was a high-traffic area for at least two mammoth herds, which would’ve garnered the attention of Indigenous hunters, who viewed mammoths as a potential food source.

“The data to me suggest that these were Indigenous people that appreciated, looked at, loved these phenomenal beasts walking on this landscape. But it would make sense too, that in times of need, that you would kill them—a mammoth like that could provide food for a huge number of people over a long period of time,” said Poinar.

At the time of Elma’s death, she was healthy and in the prime years of early adulthood. She most likely died in late summer or early fall, which would line up with the humans’ hunting season, providing even further evidence that she was killed by hunters.

The connection between the behaviors of woolly mammoths and early humans is a complex one, but by studying stories like Elma’s, scientists are slowly learning more and more.

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