The source doesn't say that the woolly mammoth is more closely related to the Asian elephant than the African elephant, but rather that there are studies that support either of these claims and the most recent study says that both relationships are equally probable:
> However, studies using morphological characteristics conclude that mammoths and Asian elephants are closely related and African elephants branched off first (Shoshani et al. 1985). Phylogenetic studies using preserved DNA of woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) led to mixed results. In 1994, Hagelberg and others found the woolly mammoth to be more closely related to the African elephant while other studies (Yang et al. 1996, Ozawa et al. 1997) found that the woolly mammoth was more closely related to the Asian elephant. To confuse matters more, a recent study found that both relationships had equal probability (Orlando et al. 2007).
But that's interesting nonetheless!
Makes sense, considering that African Elephants live a bit further away from the places Wooly Mammoths would've lived than Asian elephants do
Regardless, both species are descended from a much larger, older creature.
As somebody who has worked with both Asians & Africans in a sanctuary setting, this is not surprising, they are VERY different animals and look and act nothing alike. (Other than the general “grey with long nose and ears”)
Remember when Japan was like "within five years" of cloning a mammoth? That was over ten years ago. Where are the mammoths Japan?!
Another interesting fact about Asian elephants... riding them is a lot bumpier and more awkward than you might expect.
Fun fact: Mammoths actually survived into historical times in isolated islands far away from humans.
It's weird, you hear that African and Asian elephants are not just different species but different genus and yet there is at least one case of an African and Asian producing (non-viable) offspring. I wonder therefore if the jury is still out on classification.
African elephants are descendants of the shrew.