March 24, 2005Fresh from the Siberian tundra, an 18,000-year-
old frozen woolly mammoth went on display today at the opening of the
2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. Still partially tufted with
hair, the Ice Age plant-eater's head and other parts are stored in a
giant refrigerator-turned-laboratory. Scientists at the expo say they
hope to use the specimen to uncover why mammoths went extinct.
Woolly mammoths roamed Siberia until about 10,000 years ago, when they may have fallen victim to warming weather, human hunters, disease, or a combination thereof. Standing about 11 feet (3.4 meters) tall at the shoulder and weighing some seven tons, they not surprisingly loomed large in the minds of their human contemporaries, who immortalized the beasts in carvings and cave paintings.
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