Return of the Wooly Mammoth?
A third recent article on wooly mammoths is not credible. On February 8, 2012, The Sun reported the sighting of a live mammoth in Siberia’s Chukotka region, posting a fuzzy video of the beast. To my eyes, however, the footage seems to show a bear with a large fish in its mouth. Reports of wooly mammoth sightings periodically surface, but the possibility of their survival is nil. The indigenous peoples of the region are quite familiar with the natural history of Siberia, and they have long been aware of mammoth tusks— which they supposedly attributed to a giant mole-like animal.
The significance of the mammoth cloning project goes well beyond scientific curiosity. A group of scientists in Siberia wants to revive the creature to help transform the tundra landscape, turning it from a low-productivity, moss-dominated ecosystem to a much more productive grass-dominated one. That project, focused on the creation of a “Pleistocene Park,” will soon be the topic of a separate GeoCurrents post.
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