More about mammoths : Mammoth teeth

What Did Lupe Use Her Tusks for?

Did mammoths use their tusks to fight? Find out here!

Tusks are extra-long front teeth (incisors); however, mammoths did not use them to eat. Instead, they used them to dig in the ground for food, rub bark from trees to eat, and fight one another for territory and mating.

How do we know?

We can compare the tusks of mammoths to those of living elephants — a close relative of mammoths.

When an elephant rubs against a tree or digs in the ground, the surface of the tusk gets worn down and leaves rubbing patterns. Paleontologists find similar rubbing patterns on elephant and mammoth tusks. This suggests that mammoths used their tusks like elephants do. Watch the video below to see how modern elephants use their tusks to strip bark from trees.

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