The last of the mammoths

Last updated 17 August 2015

Climate change, hunting by humans... what caused the extinction of these Ice Age elephants?

Woolly mammoths roamed parts of Earth's northern hemisphere for at least half a million years. They were still in their heyday 20,000 years ago but within 10,000 years they were reduced to isolated populations off the coasts of Siberia and Alaska. By 4,000 years ago they were gone.

So why did these magnificent beasts die out? Mammoth expert Prof Adrian Lister talks us through his research findings and the stark warning they sound for the future of mammoths' living relatives, African and Asian elephants.

To hear more from Prof Lister about mammoths, listen to BBC Radio 4 Natural Histories.

Lessons from the past

Explore how our research into Ice Age animal extinctions can help us understand the vulnerability of species today.