Discovering the Mammoth: A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science. McKay, John J. (Author) Aug 2017. 256 p. Pegasus, hardcover, $27.95. (9781681774244). 569.6.Heh. "Masterfully."
Humans and mammoths coexisted until 10,000 years ago, but in the intervening years, humans lost that knowledge, even though they continued to find mammoth bones and trade in their ivory. In the seventeenth century, the recovery of teeth and bones of giant land mammals validated, for some, the existence of the mythical creatures described in the Christian Bible and local folklore until a modern elephant skeleton was first seen in Europe, and observational connections were made. But how could elephants, hot-weather animals, have gotten to North America and Europe? The great deluge described in the Bible was one explanation. Giant bones from a similar time frame were found in North America. Russian expeditions to map routes to Asia led explorers through some of the most fertile areas for mammoth ivory and bones. A nearly complete mammoth found in Siberian glacial ice helped to fill gaps in scientific knowledge and place this extinct species in the animal kingdom. McKay masterfully weaves an intricate story of the events, politics, people, and scientific development associated with the “rediscovery” of mammoths. — Dan Kaplan
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Today, I have a review on Booklist Online. It will also go out in their weekly news letter. It's recommended both for adults and teens. Since it's behind a subscription wall, I'll quote the whole thing here: