If Mammoth Tusks Could Talk

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One day, about 11,000 years ago, a lone bull mastodon plodded through the shallows of a lake in what today is Michigan. Some time later, three females and a gamboling calf passed the same way. Luckily for paleontologists, clay-rich mud filled the animals’ footprints, preserving the tracks and giving scientists insights into the mastodons’ social structure. The long-extinct creatures likely lived in matriarchal herds, while mature males roamed singly, much like their modern-day relatives:


Original Title: If Mammoth Tusks Could Talk
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