1. They didn’t really talk like Ray Romano and Queen Latifah, as they do in the Ice Age movies. (At least, as far as we know.)
2. Although we know about most prehistoric animals from fossils, the remains of most woolly mammoths are actually in an organic state, which helps us to know a lot about their anatomy. (The lesson: if you want future genertaions to know more about you, be big and live in really cold places.)
3. Although large, woolly mammoths were actually among the smaller mammoth species. They were roughly the same size as modern day African elephants. (In other words, you can’t call one “shorty.”)
4. Some scientists believe they can recreate woolly mammoths by taking sperm from a frozen woolly mammoth and impregnating a female elephant. (The mind reels at both the extraction and the implementation process.) Others believe that a more direct cloning-from-bone-marrow process may result in a newly created version of the beast.
5. The woolly mammoth is sometimes called the tundra mammoth. (I just call him “Sir.”)
6. Although most of them died out thousands of years earlier, some woolly mammoths were alive on an island about 4,000 years ago. (An island? How did they get there in the first place?)
7. Some woolly mammoth tusks were as long as sixteen feet. (Need a really big toothbrush for that, you know.)
8. In 1899, a man named Henry Tukeman claimed to have killed a woolly mammoth in Alaska. A hoax, of course.
9. Preserved hairs from woolly mammoths are kind of orange, but that may be due to discoloration over time. (Ginger woolly mammoths?)
10. The word “mammoth” is derived from the Tatar language; its word origin refers to “earth” and seems to be related to an old belief that mammoths lived underground in burrows (!). And I thought gophers were an annoyance!