Ancient Mammoth Discovery—Evidence That Man Pushed Them to Extinction or Not?

By Jessica Semon


A farmer in Chelsea Mich., unearthed more than he bargained for while digging in his soybean field.  The remains of a mammoth from the Pleistocene Era, found on the property of James Bristle, sparked the interest of many paleontologists.

Last week, University of Michigan’s chief paleontologist, Dan Fisher, was called to the Bristle’s farm after a mammoth’s shoulder bone was unearthed, while the farmer was digging to lay gas lines.

“We thought it was a bent fence post. It was covered with mud,” Bristle told reporters.

When Fisher arrived on the scene, he clarified the identity of the seemingly bent fence post.

Fisher, along with his partner, Chris Widga, led the unearthing process of the creature, to soon discover the beast’s skeleton lacking some bones.

The hindquarters, which were missing, and the discovery of several, distinct rocks found around the remains, have given rise to the hypothesis of preservation techniques.

The belief that is currently under investigation states that the rocks were used to anchor the mammoth in a frigid lake so that the remains would not spoil.

Further analysis of the bones will provide better clarity as to what might have happened to the creature.

The main issue under scrutiny is whether the findings back the concept of mankind forcing the extinction of such creatures.

Similar findings have occurred in regions near Mich., sparking the interest of local professors.

“The mastodon were another group of elephant-like mammals, and there was, in fact, a relatively complete skeleton excavated from a peat bog in Marshall’s Creek, in the 1960s,” ESU biology professor, Dr. Thomas LaDuke stated.

This discovery, as well as the most recent unearthing in Michigan, display evidence for mankind harvesting the creature, verses the animal dying from a natural force.

“Although the idea that ancient humans caused the extinction of the North American megafauna has been somewhat controversial, it seems to be gaining general acceptance throughout the scientific community, at the present time,” concluded Dr. LaDuke.

Researchers are working diligently with newfound evidence, such as this recent finding, to exploit the answers to the speculation surrounding the discoveries of prehistoric beings.