Mammoths ate plant life, mainly grass and large quantities of dandelion-like flowers called “forbs.” These grew abundantly in the Northern Eurasian and North American grasslands that mammoths roamed. Shrubs, sedges and mosses added variety to their diet.
To maintain a typical weight of more than 12,000 pounds, a mammoth needed more than 390 pounds of food each day. Finding and consuming this amount of food required up to 20 hours of each 24-hour day. When their preferred flowers or grasses were scarce or hidden under ice and snow, mammoths were known to eat their own droppings, which still provided life-sustaining nutrients.