Prehistoric man consumed huge quantities of mammoth meat and fed dogs with reindeer meet that he did not like.
This has been revealed by an analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in human and animal fossil bones from Předmostí , a prehistoric site located near Brno in the Czech Republic.
The study by the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment shows that the pan-European Gravettian people of Předmostí, who inhabited the region 30,000 years ago, probably left behind large amounts of mammoth carcasses as indicated by the finding that brown bears, wolves and wolverines also ate mammoth meat.
It was known that the Gravettian culture made use of the bones of more than 1,000 mammoths to build their settlement and to make ivory sculptures. But what was not known was if this was picked from carcasses or directly collected from hunting.
The humans restrained their dogs and used them as transportation help, suggests the study.
Mammoths have been in the news recently with plans to clone the long-extinct species back into life raising ethical issues.
Recently, a 42,000-year-old woolly mammoth, nicknamed Lyuba, was found so well preserved that there were traces of her mother's milk in her stomach and some eyelashes remain intact.
It is believed by some that an asteroid impact on Earth around 12,800 years ago triggered a severe winter, which led to the extinction of the woolly mammoths. Others believe inbreeding did the species in.
The mammoth belongs to the family Elephantidae which contains, along with mammoths, the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors.