It has been surmised that woolly mammoths that once lived in Alaska probably died out due to dehydration.
A remaining population of woolly mammoths in the State of Alaska were most likely driven to the brink of extinction due to lack of water. According to the novel study, these woolly mammoths lived on a far-off island of Alaska and they didn’t have access to fresh water.
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After studying the sediment core from St. Paul Island, it was determined that the mammoths went extinct some 5600 years ago. Apparently this is many years after the land populations of these woolly mammoths died out throughout the world.
The island which is extant in the Bering Sea went through a dry patch and its water conditions were not up to the mark. This occurred during the same time period when the mammoths were wiped off the slate. The history of St. Paul Island provided the perfect chance for some hard-headed research.
The mammoths got trapped beneath the increasing sea levels. They managed to survive half a millennium longer than other mainland populations. No human beings lived on the island during this time span.
A team of researchers examined the sediment core from one of the lakes of the island. The oxygen isotope ratios of the aquatic insects trapped in the sediment were found out by the group of experts.
These were those that existed before, during and after the woolly mammoths lived on the island. The study allowed a modicum of information regarding the conditions of the lake.
The populations of diatoms and aquatic insects underwent the same fluctuations the woolly mammoth were facing in accordance with the changing water conditions.
The nitrogen isotopes from the bones and teeth of the woolly mammoths clearly showed the degradation of the water with the passage of time.
The situation these woolly mammoth found themselves in was not good. They struggled to eke out an existence on the island but it was all doomed to end in failure.
The water quality simply went to the dogs and so the mammoth died out in the end. Their conditions had deteriorated beyond repair. State of the art procedures were used to gauge the lives of the woolly mammoths on St. Paul Island.
The DNA of these mammoths was also analyzed and perused with interest by the scientists concerned with the study that got published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.