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Last Updated: Thursday June 18 2009 06:13 GMT

Mammoths lived longer in UK

Woolly mammoth

There were mammoths roaming Great Britain much more recently than people thought, according to new evidence.

It was thought mammoths died out in north-western Europe 21,000 to 19,000 years ago, but a new study says they could have lasted 6,000 years longer.

A new, much more accurate dating system was used to examine mammoth remains from Shropshire and made the discovery.

No-one's sure why mammoths died out, but it could have been humans hunting them or climate change.

Some people reckon the grasslands they needed to graze on were overgrown by forests as the world's weather changed.

Other people point to the fact that lots of giant-size animals all disappeared around the same time as evidence that humans killed them off through hunting.