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What was it like during the Ice Ages?

Woolly mammoths and other animals lived in northern lands during the Pleistocene Ice Ages.There have been several ice ages during the Earth’s long history. These are times when the climate becomes so cold that ice sheets spread out from the poles and cover huge areas of the world. The most recent ice ages began around 2.6 million years ago. They were called the Pleistocene Ice Ages. Vast, thick ice sheets covered large parts of Europe and North America for thousands of years at a time. 



Glacials and interglacials

These bitterly cold times were known as glacial periods. In between, there were warmer periods called interglacials. The last glacial period ended only about 11,500 years ago. We are probably living in an interglacial today. One day, another glacial period might grip the world.

Ice Age mammals

The Pleistocene Ice Ages were not the only ice ages in the history of the Earth. A major Ice Age occurred at the end of the Carboniferous Period, about 305–300 million years ago.

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