Mammoths were not only brown as they are often represented, but there were also some reddish and other blond ones.

To discover the coloring of the long hairs of prehistoric beasts were some German scientists who analyzed the DNA extracted from the remains of a Siberian specimen lived 43, 000 years ago.

The gene responsible for the "tincture" is the Mc1r, which still today controls the coloring of the mantle of some mammals.

But why the mammoths were of different colors is not clear. It is very unlikely, according to experts, that it served the animal to camouflage itself in different environments. As happens for example for the Florida mice that living on the beach are blond to not be seen by predators.

The only way not to see a beast as big as an African elephant (almost 3 meters high), covered with long hairs (of whatever color they were) and with fangs 4 meters long is perhaps that it is capable of becoming invisible.

Photo: © Naturkundemuseum