5 Giant Ice Age Animals | Natural History for Kids

[ INTRO ] Squeaks and I love it when the weather gets
warm! We get to have picnics, go to the beach, and
spend all day exploring! But you know, the Earth didn’t always get
this warm every year. It goes through some warmer periods and some
colder ones. A very long time ago, the world went through
what’s called an ice age. It was so cold that a lot of the Earth’s
water stayed frozen — as ice! — for most of the year. Most of that ice went away about 12,000 years
ago — waaaay before your parents or grandparents were born. But before that, when so much of the world
was covered in ice, life looked a little different! A lot of the same kinds of animals we have
today were around then, too. [Squeaks asks about rats] Yes, including rats, Squeaks! But! There were also some animals back then that
have since died out — animals that were /much/ bigger than we’re used to. If you were to take an ice age tour around
the world, you’d meet some wacky characters! Imagine meeting a glyptodon, a relative of
the armadillo. [Squeaks remembers about armadillos] That’s right, we’ve learned about armadillos
before! Good memory. They’re covered in armor to keep them safe
from other animals. The glyptodon looked a lot like an armadillo,
and it also had armor, but it was the size of a car! Some glyptodons even had sharp spikes on their
tails. There were also giant beavers, which could
grow up to two and a half meters long and weigh 100 kilograms. Imagine a cute little beaver, but grown to
the size of a bear! And there were mastodons and mammoths, both
relatives of today’s elephants. They’re all part of the group of animals
that have a trunk for a nose. Mastodons and mammoths had a lot in common:
they were enormous, had long, shaggy hair that kept them warm, and had trunks to help
them scrape snow and ice off the plants they wanted to eat. But there were also some differences between
them. For example, mastodons had long, pointed tusks,
whereas mammoths had curvy ones. And mastodons had cone-shaped teeth to crush
the plants they ate, but mammoth teeth looked more like potato chips, with ridges to help
them grind up grass to eat. You don’t have to worry about running into
any of these animals on your way to school, though. By about 10,000 years ago, they had all gone
extinct, meaning they weren’t around anymore. And even if you did run into a mastodon or
glyptodon, you wouldn’t have to worry. Everybody we just met was a herbivore, which
means they ate plants, not other animals. But some giant animals from the ice age did
eat other animals. Smilodon was a big cat that lived in North
and South America. People sometimes call it a saber-toothed tiger,
even though it isn’t really a close relative of tigers. But I bet you can guess where the name “saber-tooth”
comes from. Smilodon had two giant teeth that were long
and curved, almost like a type of sword called a saber. And smilodons were predators, which means
they hunted and ate other animals. They probably used their giant saber teeth
to hunt the other huge animals that lived around the same time, like mastodons and mammoths. Then after hunting down their lunch, they
had to eat it! To bite around those giant saber teeth, they
were able to open their mouths really wide. Smilodons also had a tongue bone a lot like
today’s lion. Which probably meant they could roar like
one. Just like the animals it ate, the smilodon
is extinct. All these huge ice age animals stopped existing
by around 10,000 years ago, and scientists are still trying to figure out why. Some scientists think that humans could have
hunted them to extinction, especially mammoths and mastodons. That could be part of why, but there are probably
other reasons, too. Some other scientists think that when the
Earth warmed up again and there was less cold ice and more wet forest, it was harder for
these gigantic animals to find enough of the food they usually ate. It could also have been a combination of both! Ice age animals might have already been having
trouble by the time humans started hunting them more. Even if a mastodon used to be able to find
a new place to go once all its favorite plants were gone, once it had to worry about human
hunters, too, it might not have been able to survive. So, these giant animals are gone now. But we can learn all about them by studying
the bones they left behind, and imagine what it was like to live in a world with car-sized
armadillos, huge hairy mastodons, and giant-toothed smilodons walking around! Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun
with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and don’t forget to check us out on the
YouTube Kids app. We’ll see you next time, here at the Fort! [ Outro ]

49 thoughts on “5 Giant Ice Age Animals | Natural History for Kids

  1. Sci show kids ice age animals atualy need to be warm but when the ice melt it went warm but their coat was thick their body tempreture went hot thats why it whent exstict

  2. hi SciShow Kids I have a question for you and squeaks whenever I go on vacation for example : I'm on the plane and it's a two hour flight and the aircraft is landing and my ears start to pop but why . Please include this in your next video P.S love you videos

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