An amusing story sent in by Robert at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5040151/Why-70-mammoth-remains-c… … it seems the feminists are providing a new way of doing science – looking at gender issues. You might not be surprised to learn it comes courtesy of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. The pun on feminism appears to be deliberate and no doubt they are perfectly serious. Apparently, 70 per cent of mammoth remains found buried in Siberia (from 98 samples analysed) were male. The female research team suggest this is because these males were travelling singly or in all male groups and that is why they became trapped by falling through lake ice or getting stuck in a swamp. If they had had a female mammoth to lead them they would not have been so bullish and resort to risky behaviour – looking for some tasty rhizomes at the water edge or taking a short cut across a frozen river or lake. It seems that even modern elephants tend to have females and their youngsters in one group (but surely with a big bull elephant for protection) – whereas his rivals and younger males travel in all male groups (and sometimes by themselves, although that doesn't appear too practicable in Africa with all those lions on the prowl). Perhaps mammoths behaved differently to elephant herds in Botswana. The researchers speak of bachelor herds (oh dear, deprived of female company, too handy with their trunks perhaps) and females having a moderating influence (did female mammoths nag a bit). The researchers now plan to analyse other ice age animals to see if a similar ratio of dead carcasses is found – in order to cement their theory (or nail it to the mammoth hide). Professor Love Dalen, one of the team, said these new findings indicate that these remains that survived have done so because they were buried … as a result of risky male behaviour. The explanation for the 30 per cent female remains is not mentioned. Perhaps they were feminist mammoths, behaving like males.
… you may note there is no reference to catastrophism as an explanation of instant burial and preservation.