The Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) is an extinct species of mammoth that inhabited North America as far north as the northern United States and as far south as Costa Rica during the Pleistocene epoch. It was one of the last in a line of mammoth species, beginning with Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early Pliocene. The Columbian mammoth evolved from the steppe mammoth, which entered North America from Asia about 1. 5 million years ago. The pygmy mammoths of the Channel Islands of California evolved from Columbian mammoths. The closest extant relative of the Columbian and other mammoths is the Asian elephant.