In Russia's Arctic north, a new kind of gold rush is under way: With the sale of elephant tusks under close scrutiny, “ethical ivory” from the extinct woolly mammoth is now feeding an insatiable market in China. This rush on mammoth ivory is luring a fresh breed of miner – the tusker – into the Russian wilderness and creating dollar millionaires in some of the poorest villages of Siberia. [more inside]
Did dogs help drive mammoths to their graves? Prehistoric dog found with mammoth bone in its mouth. Daisy, a miniature wire-haired dachshund, finds mammoth bone on the beach.
We can't create Jurassic Park era (yet) but there is a place on Earth lost to time, a modern proxy of the Pleistocene (35,000 to 12,000 years ago). Other than the mammoth and a few other species, the flora and fauna remain largely unchanged, even the climate is similar to the last ice age (cold and dry). There are wild horses, reindeer, saiga antelopes, argali sheep, wolverines and snow leopards. The Altai and Sayan mountains of western Mongolia and southern Russia (map)... [more inside]
The Mammoth Cometh. "Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad." [Previously, Via]
“What I’m about to show you,” he says, “you can’t tell a soul about it. If you did, it would be major trouble. Trouble with a capital ‘T.’ ” He sips his drink and tugs the quilt away.Shirley Temple Three by Thomas Pierce
Mawmaw takes a step back. She’s looking at some kind of elephant. With hair.
“Don’t worry. She’s not dangerous,” Tommy says. “Bread Island Dwarf Mammoth. The last wild one lived about ten thousand years ago. They’re the smallest mammoths that ever existed. Cute, isn’t she?”
The mammoth is waist high, with a pelt of dirty-blond fur that hangs in tangled draggles to the dirt. Its tusks, white and pristine, curve out and up. The forehead is high and knobby and covered in a darker fur. The trunk probes the ground for God-knows-what and then curls back into itself like a jelly roll.
“What’s a goshdern Bread Island Dwarf Whatever doing in my yard?” Mawmaw asks.
"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs." [Discovery.com] Within five years, a woolly mammoth will likely be cloned, according to scientists who have just recovered well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thigh bone. Japan's Kyodo News first reported the find. You can see photos of the thigh bone at this Kyodo page.
This is Bull of Frost (Chys Khan), which is Yakutian colleague of Russian Grandpa Frost (Ded Moroz) and Santa Claus. [more inside]
The 32.000 year old artifact was discovered in the form of hundreds of small fragments in a cave in Stadel im Hohlenstein in Germany on the 25th of August 1939. The fact that the fragments belonged to a figurine was discovered in 1969 by Prof. Dr. Joachim Hahn. He mentioned a similarity of several small peices and puzzled a first version of the figurine with nearly 200 fragments. Meet the Lion Man. [more inside]
Make Believe you're in a
jungle movie. Watch the frozen baby elephants mammoths go by. The beat world is groovy. [more inside]
Global warming - good for elephants? The melting of the tundra means that more wooly mammoth remains are surfacing. And this means more mammoth ivory for carvings and other purposes. The linked article says conservationists are happy with this development, as it means ivory for the Asian market coming from extinct species rather than species that are nearly extinct. But is this really the answer?
New evidence (Nature) has been discovered in support (BBC) of the North American Comet Catastrophe of 10,900 BC (previously). "We think that there was probably an impact which exploded in the air that sent [meteorite] particles flying into the animals.. the fragments unlikely originated on Earth." The discovery was made by Allen West using a magnet at an Arizona motel during a sale of Mammoth tusks. "It was just a tiny magnet on a string, but very strong. It would swing over [mammoth tusks] and stick firmly to these little dots."
The Mammoth Cheese of Cheshire was the most unusual gift ever given to a President of the United States. In the aftermath of the "Revolution of 1800", the eccentric Baptist preacher John Leland decided to celebrate the presidency of Thomas Jefferson by convincing the predominantly Baptist farmers of Cheshire, Massachusetts to create a giant 1,235-pound block of cheese as a monument to small-"r" republicanism and religious freedom. [more inside]
Crazy Mammoths is the finest single-button, mammoths-encased-in-blocks-of-ice racing game. [friday flash fun]
The World Expo 2005 opened doors to visitors today. Attractions include robots, a mammoth, and participating countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. Some think that in the age of the Internet and intercontinental travel, world expos are becoming obsolete; others think the Aichi Expo might spawn a new industry: industrial tourism. The last Expo in Japan was held in Osaka in 1970, and brought us arguably the world's ugliest artifact.
Mammoths (Mammuthus) have been discussed here before and for those modern explorers who hunt the long extinct tusker in the field there is the 3rd International Mammoth conference where you can learn about things such as Mammoth Hunters and Ice Age Dogs.
Cells obtained from the well-preserved legs of a mammoth found last summer in Russia's far-northern Yakutia region are "conditionally alive" and could provide the DNA needed to resurrect the long-extinct tuskers.
A 32,000 year old etching on an ivory mammoth tusk is linked to the constellation Orion which may have been used as a primitive "pregnancy calendar" designed to estimate when a pregnant woman will give birth. The oldest known drawing of a star pattern, it was created by the mysterious Aurignacian people about whom we know next to nothing save that they moved into Europe from the east supplanting the indigenous Neanderthals.