View Full Version : How About Them Mammoths?

2003-May-14, 07:38 PM
As promised, a summary and review of the mammoth issue that Nancy keeps pulling out of her hat in a rather triumphant manner:

Nancy (and others) claim that Planet X has been past us several times and that with its 3,600 year orbit, it came by us last in 1600 BC. The time before that would have been 7,200 years ago (5200 BC) and before that, 10,800 years ago and so forth.

The problem with Nancy's mammoth bodies as evidence is that they died at different times. There's not a vast field of bodies that all date from the same time period. Instead, they are from 45,000 to 12,000 years old and what evidence we have doesn't show that they died from massive dust inhalation or anything else that might be remotely associated with that ol' debbil moon, "Planet X."

About Mammoths
(from http://www.andrewgray.com/essays/recreate.htm#relics )

The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), a hairy member of the elephant family with long, characteristically curved tusks, is perhaps the best known of these animals. The large European monsters disappeared quite rapidly about 10,000 years ago, probably due to a sudden climate change. We know that the great North American ice sheet slid into the sea at about this time, and the subsequent release of water into the environment transformed the dry grasslands on which the mammoths and their contemporaries grazed into the inhospitable, boggy tundra of today. The new, damper landscape couldn't support much plant life and was more liable to freezing; the mammoths couldn't cope with this new environment and quickly became extinct.

Fresh? Frozen Mammoths?
Much was made of the "flash frozen" bodies -- but that turns out to be a misinterpretation of the facts. This was discussed on sci.bio on Usenet, among others. You can find similar things from people involved in the actual digs.
(archvie from http://keithlynch.net/cryonet/31/65.html )

> Careful what you believe from such popularized accounts. These
>reports have often been garbled to make it sound like mammoth were
>happily munching buttercups one moment, and frozen stiff the next.
>Apparently the animals always had bits of plant matter stuck to their
>teeth, because they were never taught proper brushing techniques and
>they ate very course foods. Also, being quick frozen wasn't so much
>responsible for preserving them as was being rapidly buried by wind
>blown silt. Even then, reports of people dining on the "fresh" meat
>are somewhat exaggerated. Although some dogs found them appetizing,
>as best I can recall, the humans always found the odor of decay in
>even the best preserved specimens somewhat nauseating.There have
>been a couple of articles written about these things in _Natural
>History_ over the past couple of years, so if you *really* want to
>know more, I could dig them up and post references.

TalkOrigins.org's Mammoth & Mastodon FAQ puts it even more clearly.

Preservation of the mammoth remains was somewhat different than has been imagined by the uninformed. The mammoths were 'mummified', a process that is quite easily done in a cold environment. Guthrie compares it to the process that packaged meat undergoes in a freezer.

(skipped a bunch of paragraphs)

As for instant freezing, as claimed by Ted Holden, there is no evidence of that. The Berezovka mammoth shows evidence of having been buried in a landslide, the cold mud acting as preservative and the underlying permafrost completing the process by freezing the carcass.

So the condition of the mammoth bodies is not fresh, but rather as though you left a steak in your freezer for 25 years or more. Think beef jerky, with a distinct odor of decay and musk. You might make it appetizing to humans with a lot of work...and I do mean a LOT of work. But they didn't chop it out, fresh and dripping blood and ready to eat.

The "buttercups" evidence is from the above mentioned Beresovka mammoth. Note that it wasn't flash frozen but buried in a flash flood (we get them in Texas all the time. In fact, they're common throughout the world.) This particular beast's death has been dated to 39,000 years ago; not even close to a "Planet X returns" date.

Current theories are that it was caused by a climate change (this has been fiercely argued, because the climate change should have affected the whole world and not just one area), the arrival of the Clovis people (11000 years ago), or disease... or a combo of all three. Nobody suspects the Spanish Inquisition -- or Planet X for that matter.

2003-May-14, 07:41 PM
Thank you. Neat stuff.

2003-May-14, 08:35 PM
Don't tell Nancy, but the 5,000 year old iceman found a few years ago in Europe had evidence of berries in his gut. And, there was still straw left that he had used to insulate his feet.

Maybe she never went up in the mountains where lots of things grow in and around the snow. You eat, you walk, you die, it snows, and voila, you get 'flash frozen'. :wink:

She needs a lesson or two in glaciers and ice ages along with astronomy lessons.

2003-May-14, 08:43 PM
A couple comments...

The fact that wooly mammoths were wooly suggest they were adapted to cold climates that may have been covered with snow and ice part the years.

As for the "buttercups" in the mouths and stomachs, anyone who has been to the High Sierras or the Rockys during June or July knows that many plants with colorful flowers can grows in areas that are covered with snow for half the year.

There exists a cold mumification process that is different from the process seen in egyptian mummies. The preservation in some cold mummies is remarkable. Some cold human mummies found in central asia that are more than 2000 years old have clothes in excellent condition, good heads of hair, and even recognizable facial features!