"Today, a leading cause of infant elephant deaths in Myanmar (Burma) is insufficient maternal milk production," said Metcalfe.
"Woolly mammoths may have been more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and human hunting than modern elephants not only because of their harsher environment, but also because of the metabolic demands of lactation and prolonged nursing, especially during the longer winter months," said Metcalfe.
Metclafe also warmed that the extinction of mammoths should remind people what can happen when climate change and human pressures come to bear on a species.
"Mammoths lived all over the world for thousands of years, even millions of years, and then became extinct about 10,000 years ago, which was around the time the climate started warming the last time," said Metcalfe.
"Understanding their ecology, their adaptations and their behavior not only gives us insight into why they became extinct but also, potentially, gives us a better understanding of modern day mammals and how they might respond to the current warming of the planet," said Metcalfe.
IMAGE 1: Woolly mammoth; Wikimedia Commons IMAGE 2: A dried out baby mammoth preserved for thousands of years; Wikimedia Commons