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Columbian mammoths were the largest of the Ice Age icons, and probably lived in matriarchal families.At 13 feet tall, with 12-foot tusks, they were larger than today's elephants.One top predator of these warm-weather animals was Smilodon, the saber-toothed cat.About six feet long and 600 pounds, Smilodon used its bulk to subdue prey, not its teeth.The giant Bison latifrons also flourished in the warmth.At two tons, this one was twice as big as today's bison, with up to eight-foot headgear.Today, Snowmass, Colorado: Thirty feet down in the muddy bottom of that same ancient lake, paleontologists are digging up a stunning number of mastodon bones. Did something catastrophic happen to kill off all these ancient elephants? He notices something coming off the blade of his 'dozer.I've never found a mammoth before, and I can tell you, it's thrilling to be, like, digging in the dirt with the shovel, and suddenly, there is a giant four-foot-long femur. What's now a natural basin was once an ancient lake.
They find the remains of four mammoths, 10 mastodons, an extinct bison with a six-foot horn span, an American camel, and a Jefferson's ground sloth, and they have barely scratched the surface.Only when the prey was down would it sink its enormous fangs into a victim's windpipe and jugular.When the world cooled and the glaciers advanced, another set of creatures came on the scene.But these giant plant eaters faced plenty of plus-sized predators.Short-faced bear, one of the largest bears ever to walk the earth, might have targeted mammoth infants or weak adults. Another animal that actually evolved in North America was Camelops.