More about mammoths : Distribution of mammoths

When Did Columbian Mammoths Come to North America?

mammoth migration pattern

Migration patterns of Columbian and woolly mammoths.

The ancestors of Columbian mammoths lived in Asia and came to North America about 1.8 million years ago across the Bering land bridge (see the map below). This land bridge was between Russia and Alaska. The Columbian mammoth moved throughout the United States and parts of Mexico. They never went south of Mexico.

The woolly mammoth also came to North America from Asia across the Bering land bridge. They started coming to North America 100,000 years ago and stayed in the north, remaining in Alaska and Canada.

Changing Sea Levels

Today water separates Russia and Alaska. But sea level was lower during the Ice Ages, and the land was exposed. As a result, animals could walk across it. Sea level was lower because much of the ocean’s water was frozen in glaciers. When the glaciers melted, sea level rose again and covered the land bridge. As glaciers formed and melted over and over during the Ice Ages, sea level rose and fell again and again, covering and uncovering the Bering land bridge.

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