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Why mammoths got wholly

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Science Middle School

Why Woolly Mammoths Have Thick Furry Coats

Woolly mammoths were large, elephant-like creatures that lived tens of thousands of years ago, during the last great ice age. The thick, furry coat is one of several traits that gave woolly mammoths an advantage in a very cold environment. Today, the closest biological relative is the Asian elephant, which prefers warmer climates. Scientists were curious about the genetic variations between the woolly mammoth and the Asian elephant and what might account for the differences between the two species. In this audio story, we hear from a scientist who studied the DNA from the extinct mammoth and compared it to its contemporary descendant. Listen to learn more about what researchers discovered.

Genetics Animals DNA

Story Length: 2:35

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SOURCE:

National Public Radio © 2015 National Public Radio, Inc. Used with the permission of NPR. All rights reserved.

AIR DATE: 07/02/2015


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