Woolly Mammoths, Giant Elephants May Have Gotten Busy

Snuffleupagus, you are the father.

Scientists have discovered that the ancient species the Woolly Mammoth- which we basically know as a hairy elephant- could have interbred with a completely different elephant species that was much larger- which is kind of dirty, woolly mammoths. The suspected fraternization was also part of a long-distance relationship:

Although woolly mammoths lived in the cold of the tundra, the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) preferred the more temperate regions of southern and central North America. The Columbians were much larger than woollies, with Columbian males reaching one-and-a-half to two times that of woolly males.

The Mammoths died out in Siberia about 10,000 years ago, but dwarf versions of the species- essentially toy mammoths- lived on on an Arctic island until about 3,700 years ago. According to science people, the mammoths and the other elephants had significant difference- for instance, the non-mammoth males were one and a half to two times bigger than the mammoths:

“We are talking about two very physically different species here,” said researcher Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. “You have roughly 1 million years of separation between the two, with the Columbian mammoth likely derived from an early migration into North America approximately 1.5 million years ago, and their woolly counterparts emigrating to North America some 400,000 years ago.”

The estimations were made from mitochondrial DNA located in specimens in Utah and Wyoming, and the findings were published in the May 31st edition of the journal Genome Biology.