Leaves The dung offered up willow leaves as well (above). All were badly preserved, and none of them was connected to a twig—further evidence that the mammoth had perished between growing seasons. The team thinks, in fact, that the Yukagir mammoth may have eaten and partially digested dead leaves. Was this because little else was available at the time of his death? Just how harsh was the climate at the time? And what season of the year did he die?