What Happened to Animals in the Ice Age?


The great Ice Age, or Glacial Period, was a time when a great mass of ice came down gradually from the north and covered parts of the world. It came down over North America, and a similar mass of ice came down over northern Europe and western Siberia. When did this happen? It is thought that it began nearly 1,000,000 years ago.

When did it end? In the United Kingdom it may have ended only a few thousand years ago, and in some parts of the world it still has not really ended. The glacial period still remains in Antarctica and Greenland. Mllions of square miles of central Europe were buried under a great creeping ice sheet which reached as far south as London, Rumania and the southern tip of Russia. 

When the Ice Age came, animals from the Arctic migrated south-ward in front of the glaciers. Animals which could not stand the new, colder conditions were forced to migrate to warmer regions, or die out. Native wild animals now only found in America are merely a remant of the many varieties of beasts known to have lived there before the Ice Age.


Man, of course, was able to adapt his lift to the colder climate. This probably helped him gain in intelligence because more difficult living conditions made him use his mind and ingenuity in order to survive. Plant life also moved south In front of the glaciers, and moved back again as the glaciers melted. But many kinds of plant simply died out.  

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