Sophisticated hunters not to blame for driving mammoths to extinction

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Woolly mammoths and other giant ice-age mammals faced extinction 2,000 years before deadly speartips were invented.

Woolly mammoths and other large, lumbering beasts faced extinction long before early humans perfected their skills as spearmakers, scientists say.

The prehistoric giants began their precipitous decline nearly 2,000 years before our ancestors turned stone fragments into sophisticated spearpoints at the end of the last ice age.

The animals, which included mammoths, elephant-sized mastodons and beavers the size of black bears, were probably picked off by more inept hunters who only much later developed specialised weapons when their prize catches became scarce.

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