Cowart's Common Room
Mammoth Lark

Uploaded ImageIs anyone interested in Mammoths?

When I was growing up Woolly Mammoths seemed to be everywhere. They sprang out of books (the sort a kind relation brings) with their great curling tusks and their shaggy fur and their little beady eyes. You could almost hear them thudding across the tundra, defying the howling arctic wind. And when they were not in books there were examples of mammoth this and mammoth that - brands of soap or pillows or garden wheelbarrows - none of which had anything to do with Mammoths but if you need a catchy name for your brand, why not? There was even a French supermarket chain called 'Mammoth' with a large hairy pachyderm icon. It too may be extinct for all I know.

Real Mammoths became extinct so recently that some carcases, we were led to believe, were still warm when they were found and with their stomachs full of their half digested lunch. Anyway they always excited me, and were a favourite exhibit in the Museum of Natural History.

Today I read in the paper that scientists are going to try re-creating these favourite creatures out of respectable elephants, some growth hormone and patches of real Mammoth DNA dug out of the tundra and pasted into elephant eggs, the object being apparently to create an animal that will dig holes in the snow to let the cold air in so reversing the effects of global warming on the rapidly melting tundra. I can't help but think there must be an easier way, much as though I should like to see Mammoths trekking across the Canadian arctic and spearing recalcitrant seal hunters on their tusks.

Mammoths probably have a gestation period running into several years so selective breeding to recreate the species isn't really an option. But other extinct animals could be recreated simply by selecting for the right look or size in the same way you breed chihuahuas out of wolfhounds or vice versa. Thus the Dodo could be recreated from the selective breeding of pigeons. Pigeon squabs, to judge by Faith's photos already resemble young dodos - if you selected for large beaks and small wings - you could recreate the dodo in no time and Faith would be on the front cover of Time magazine before the first cut and paste Mammoth has learnt to walk. And I am sure if you scattered grain from a helicopter all over the arctic wastes Faith's recreated Dodos would make holes in the snow faster than the recreated Mammoths. Now that would make an experiment. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 17th Feb 2017 - 07:55PM   Posted by Fennie   Mammoth Lark Comments: 2

Re:
Fairy Nuff's Avatar I have a mammoth sitting on the arm of the sofa next to me right now! He's called Angus.
We went to see the baby mammoth exhibition at the national museum in Edinburgh last year, she was the little one they followed the dig on a TV documentary a while ago. Fascinating creatures. Very Happy

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 17th Feb 2017 at 10:16PM

Re:
Camilla's Avatar An interesting post Fennie on the Mammoths, I love them too and saw them at the Natural History Museum.

Posted by: Camilla on 17th Feb 2017 at 10:49PM

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