The Ice Age



Twenty thousand years ago during the time of the last ice age period, many

colossal mammals roamed North America. They survived during the times when much of

the earth was covered by immense large bodies of ice that buried forests, fields, and

mountains, but rapidly became extinct after the ice began to retreat and melt. Since then

the human race has introduced many different theories to explain the extinction of these

large mammals. One theory stands above all and explains the truth of this mysterious

disappearance. The Paleo Indians that entered North America from Asia, the climate

change, soil, vegetation and water levels were all major factors in this extinction. The

results of these factors left the biggest impact on the food chain of these animals. The

domino-effect of all these factors is responsible for the extinction of the ice age mammals.

Animals, like all other living organisms have a tendency to adapt to the

environment in which they live. A cold climate favors large animals, since large animals

have more body fat and lose heat at a slower rate then do smaller animals. That is why

many of the mammals that lived during the ice age were enormous. These large animals

consisted of ground sloths and armadillos which came northward from South America,

and horses, saber-toothed cats, mammoths, antelopes, and muskoxen that crossed over the

land bridge from Asia into North America.

For the longest time fossils from many parts of North America were the only

evidence that many of these large beasts had once roamed the land, but in the spring of

1846 an unbelievable event happened that brought the world a step closer to the mystery

of this great extinction. A Russian explorer Benkendorf and his survey team from Russia

were heading for the mouth of the Indigirka River in Siberia. When they reached the spot

of their destination, the land had disappeared and everything had changed. Left behind

was two miles wide of torn up land, and wild waters carrying rapidly masses of peat and

loam. In the mixture of the mess they seemed to notice what was once one of the

mammoths who roamed the earth during the ice ages. (Chorlton 53)



Our patience was tried. At last, however, a huge black horrible mass

bobbed up out of the water. We beheld a colossal elephants head, armed

with mighty tusks, its long trunk waving uncannily in the water, as though

seeking something it had lost. Breathless with astonishment, I beheld the

monster hardly 12 feet away, with the white of his half-open eyes showing.

'A mammoth! A mammoth!' someone shouted. (Chorlton 54)

An elephant with a body covered with thick fur about thirteen feet in height and

fifteen in length with tusks eight feet long that curved outward at the end. It had a trunk

six feet long and colossal legs one and a half feet thick. The beast was fat and well grown.

The outer hair was like wool, very soft, warm and thick, it was definitely well protected

from the cold.(Chorlton 54) Unfortunately the mammoth soon began to decay and was

swept away by the rapid waters. This dramatic find brought the world face to face with

one of the great mysteries of the ice age, the sudden extinction of the great colossal

mammals.

These large mammals at one time lived in peace and survived gracefully for

thousands of years, they adapted to the cold climate and tundra surrounding them. With

an adequate food chain and nothing to affect it they were bound to survive forever, but

because of simple changes that eventually triggered many other factors these animals are

extinct and will never be on this earth again.

When the massive continental glaciers locked up great quantities of water, the sea

levels lowered which exposed parts of the shallow sea floor, therefore, the Bering Strait

did not exist. Eleven thousand, years ago many Paleo Indians were able to cross the land

bridge between Asia and North American which enabled them to populate North America.

The great amount of large animals attracted these people to the frozen waste lands.



In all hunting that ends with the extermination of a species, the

motivation is never hunger. Money, and the greed for it, have been the

incentive. The savage does not know these, he hunts to eat and so is

unable to decimate the big game to any important extent (Cornwall 117)

The large mammals of North American were never exposed to the intellectual

minds of human beings. Therefore, this drastic change of humans living on their land and

feeding on there own kind was a big change. These animals were like