Mammoths were enormously sized beasts, much larger than other elephants, standing as tall as 15 feet (4.6 meters) at the shoulder and weighing in at 9 to 11 tons (8,200 to 10,000 kilograms). Their tusks were extraordinarily long, sometimes as long as the creature was tall, and weighing on average 50% more than the tusks of a standard elephant.
An adult mammoth could easily carry 3 tons (2,700 kilograms) of weight and could be compelled to carry even as much as 8 tons (7,300 kilograms)! A single beast was strong enough to drag 40 tons (36,000 kilograms).
Mammoths were surprisingly intelligent animals, even exhibiting some higher-level emotions and customs, such as paying special respect to the bones of their dead, returning often to visit sites where fellow herd members have died, sometimes repeating such a pattern for years in the case of a mate, sibling, or calf.
Mammoths were usually calm creatures but became extremely aggressive if threatened, far much more so than elephants. They defended their young and had exceptional memories of previous aggressors, attacking creatures that had tried to harm them or their offspring in the past.
If given the option, mammoths preferred to fight with their herd and not in isolation, though a larger bull male might be an exception. In general, they fought like elephants, by charging, goring, stomping, and trampling. If a mammoth caught a victim in its tusks, it often tossed that creature through the air.
The largest mammoths lived out in the open steppes, where they had little to fear, because of their massive size. They organized into large herds, led by the oldest female member, along with her sisters and daughters. The male mammoths were the fighters who defended the herd.
They preferred to live in cold, subarctic climates, such as the High Ice and Sossal, but could survive in many climates, even subtropical ones. In fact, mammoths were common in the Shining Plains of the Vilhon Reach.
It was possible to train a mammoth for use as a mount or pack animal, but this had to be done from a young age, because an adult animal would starve itself rather than submit to a trainer. Such training typically took at least six weeks.
In the same era, the Rengarth tribe relied heavily on the presence of mammoths in their land, using them both as a source of food and as beasts of burden. The Netherese believed that the affinity the Rengarth had for the mammoths was a form of magic (but in truth, the Rengarth hated all forms of magic).
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