The woolly mammoth is the official state fossil of Alaska. Mammoths, giant grass-eaters of the Ice Age tundra, stood 11 feet tall and weighed about 6 tons. Their closest living relatives are Asian elephants. A combination of hunting and climate change made the woolly mammoth go extinct about 11,500 years ago. The ivory tusks of the woolly mammoth were longer and more curved than a modern elephant. Tusks on the male could be 14 feet long with female tusks reaching about 6 feet. Over the centuries, mammoth ivory has absorbed minerals in the soil to give it a warm cream or brown color. Although mastodon ivory is also found in Alaska, 98% of the ancient ivory used is mammoth ivory.
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