A frosty visit to living relics, muskox
January 6, 2016 11:41 AM Subscribe
In a remote corner of the world a living relic from a prehistoric age still exists. A creature that once roamed the northern plains alongside mammoths and sabertooth cats.In Between is a short video that takes you to visit muskox in their frozen habitat.
Muskoxen have historically been associated with the hunting cultures of early mankind. Their meat and hides were used for food, clothing, and shelter, while the horns and bones were carved to make tools and crafts.
During the Ice Age, muskoxen were found as far south as Kansas, but as the ice and tundra receded northward, so did the muskox. They currently roam the arctic tundra of northern Canada and Greenland and have been successfully returned to Alaska and Russia. A small introduced population also exists in Scandinavia.
There was a drastic musk ox population decline 12,000 years ago due to climate, not humans, and more recently unregulated commercial harvesting caused the disappearance of muskoxen from large areas of their Canadian continental ranges in the late 1880s, but the global populations have broadly been on the rise after they were protected and reintroduced. Still, climate change is impacting their habitats, as musk oxen appear to be moving further south as one was spotted [in 2012] in northern Alberta, and their ability to adapt to significant environmental change is [generally] poor, as evidenced by their complete loss from Asia and Europe; native populations persist only in tundra environments of Arctic North America.
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