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By David J. Tenenbaum with Terry Devitt
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The Mammoth's Mane: Haut Couture on Ice

SIBERIA, Russia

Mammoths were the monsters of the ice ages. Tusky, musky, and dusky, they ruled the glaciers. We know they resembled their close relatives, the elephants, with an extra helping of ivory on those mammoth tusks. But how come mammoths thrived on ice, while elephants live in tropical Africa and Asia? And were they blondes or brunettes?

A new answer to the mother of mammoth questions comes from genetic sleuths at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, who reconstructed chunks of DNA from a mammoth bone that has been frozen for 41,000 years.

In a breakthrough on the critical subject of hairstyles in ancient Siberia, the researchers found that mammoth fur ranged from reddish-blonde to brown.

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The Why Files: The Science Behind the News

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: Apr. 28, 2009

Price: $15.00

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Penguin Media/Publicity Contacts:

Yen Cheong
Yen.Cheong@us.penguingroup.com

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Abigail.Dalton@us.penguingroup.com


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