For the same reason that most other animals become extinct: because their habitats shrank, their food sources were depleted, and their populations eventually could no longer support themselves. The woolly mammoth, probably the most well-known Ice Age animal, is a prime example. Mammoths were once numerous during the last Ice Age, and they were well-adapted to cold climates. When the climate began to change during the end of the Pleistocene era, mammoths were confined to smaller areas where glaciers were shrinking and their food–coarse grasses that lived in cold tundra environments–became harder and harder to find. Mammoths also had the misfortune to begin their decline as a hostile species started to have widespread impact. That species, of course, was human beings, who hunted mammoths for food, hides and other reasons. A combination of these factors led to the extinction of the mammoth about 10,000 years ago, though it is believed that small pockets of them may have survived to as late as about 1700 BC.
There are other stories of Ice Age animals becoming extinct, such as the sabre-toothed tiger, but their tales are very similar.
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