Question Sheet: Three strikes wiped out woolly mammoths
- What’s the difference between a woolly mammoth, a mastodon and an elephant?
- Where did they live?
- What do you think led to the extinction of mammoths — and when?
- How do scientists know that people hunted and killed mammoths?
- When did mammoths live?
- How did they stay warm?
- What is steppe-tundra?
- How did people use mammoths, other than for food?
- How might people have contributed to the animals’ extinction about 6,000
years ago? And what role might climate have played in that?
- What did the presence of nanodiamonds suggest might be an additional cause
of mammoth extinctions?
- What does the story suggest about the role of hunting in maintaining species
- Scientists describe our climate as changing. What lessons might be learned
from the mammoth story about life’s ability to deal with changes in climate?
- Most people think of comets as icy orbiting objects near the sun. What do
you think might happen if a comet hit Earth today?
- Today’s Earth is much more civilized than in the mammoth’s day. People live
over most of its surface and perform activities that affect air, water and
species half a world away. Give an example of something that takes place in your
town or county that might have negative impacts on animals (including people)
hundreds or thousands of miles away?
- How has hunting changed over the millennia? How have these changes affected
the areas where hunting occurs, the species that are targeted and the size of
harvests? How has the purpose of hunting changed over the past several hundred
- What role do people have as stewards of wildlife? Why do governments work so
hard to protect wildlife? (Hint: Imagine a world without sharks or birds or
- Imagine a comet hitting Earth today. Anticipate how much damage it could do
and what the economic impacts of that damage might be. NASA scientists are
building telescopes to scout for comets that might be on a trajectory to hit
Earth. Why are they doing this? Do they just want to know out of curiosity? Is
there something that engineers might do if they knew a comet was headed toward
Earth? How much lead time would scientists have — weeks, months, years, even
- In the era of mammoths, there was no such thing as countries. People lived
in clans and small hamlets. How has the development of organized cities changed
they way people affect the landscape — and share information about the health of
- Write three haiku (a special type of short poem) about mammoths. Most tend
to describe something in just three lines, consisting of a total of 17 syllables
(5 in the first line, seven in the second and 5 in the last). Need help
understanding the form? Go to: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem
- Hold a classroom debate on whether hunting of large animals is good or bad
for their likely survival. One group should explore why large animals are
particularly vulnerable to hunting pressures (hint: consider their life
histories). A second group should look at how hunting may sensitize people to
the importance of a species (based on its economic value to the livelihood of
the hunters. Afterward, take a classroom vote: Which side made a more compelling