Poor woolly mammoth! Twenty thousand years ago, when climate change made vegetations they eat ever scarcer, woolly mammoth had to resort to eating their own dung to stay alive (well, to stave off extinction anyhow):
Many of the plants in the mammoth’s lower intestine, which the team analysed using botanical identification and chemical techniques, were poorly digested, suggesting the animals struggled to obtain much nutrients from their poor vegetarian diet.
The scientists believe the large mammals ate their own dung to get a second chance of digesting the food, something which modern herbivores including elephants occasionally do in times when food is scarce.
Experts believe this could help to explain why the woolly mammoths were pushed into extinction at the end of the ice age by the changing climate. Recent research has suggested that the spread of forests in the warming climate left the mammoths nothing to eat.