Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 956–963 | Cite as

New materials of the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, with discussion on the origin and evolutionary patterns of mammoths

  • GuangBiao WeiEmail author
  • SongMei Hu
  • KeFu Yu
  • YaMei Hou
  • Xin Li
  • ChangZhu Jin
  • Yuan Wang
  • JianXin Zhao
  • WenHua Wang
Research Paper


Recently found materials indicate that the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, survived in northern China into the late Pleistocene. East Asia is the key area of mammoth evolution after the initial radiation of early forms out of Africa and into Eurasia at the beginning of the late Pliocene (c. 3.5-3.0 Ma). M. rumanus, M. meridionalis, M. trogontherii, and M. primigenius probably formed a continuous and transitional evolutionary lineage within the pan-Eurasian mammoth radiation in East Asia. Each speciation event of the Eurasian mammoths was followed by a rapid and large-scale dispersal event: out of East Asia. Allopatric speciation is the main speciation pattern of Mammuthus. The climatic vacillation was severe and frequent in East Asia from the early part of early Pleistocene (c. 2.6 Ma) onward, which probably brought about successive speciation in East Asia and the subsequent dispersal of the mammoths.


Mammuthus trogontherii Mammuthus sungari MSE allopatric speciation out of East Asia climate 


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • GuangBiao Wei
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • SongMei Hu
    • 3
  • KeFu Yu
    • 4
  • YaMei Hou
    • 5
  • Xin Li
    • 6
  • ChangZhu Jin
    • 5
  • Yuan Wang
    • 5
  • JianXin Zhao
    • 7
  • WenHua Wang
    • 8
  1. 1.Chongqing Three Gorges Institute of PaleoanthropologyChina Three Gorges MuseumChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Three Gorges Culture and Social Development Research InstituteChongqing Normal UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Shaanxi Provincial Institute of ArchaeologyXi’anChina
  4. 4.South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.Chongqing Natural History MuseumChongqingChina
  7. 7.Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM)The University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  8. 8.Production & Technology Department, Strip MineZalainuoer Coal Industry Co. Ltd.ManzhouliChina

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