Pechevalavato Mammoth

29 Jul 2020

This two links were sent in by Robert. At ... where we are told that Russian scientists are in the process of retrieving a well preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth. It still has ligaments attached to bone. It was found in silt and sediments of a lake in northern Siberia. Local reindeer hunters found pieces of bone and informed the authorities and scientists turned up to invesigate. Finding a complete mammoth skeleton, albeit in pieces, was too much to ignore and a major excavation was set in place. It was seen first in the shallows of Pechevalavato Lake in the Yamalo-Nenets region, and ABC lead us to believe this all took place within a matter of a couple of weeks. That ignores the slow pace of bureaucratic activity so we may be sceptical on that point. The big news of course is that fragments  of bone included a piece with the sinews still intact. Hence the haste. Since then scientists have pulled up more bones including some large fragments protruding from the silt on the lake bottom. There is a lot more bones and fragments buried in the silt, yet to be retrieved, which is going to be a long process involving sifting and slow exploration. A video on the link seems to swing to another story, one dealt with a couple of months ago. However, the shark teeth seem to have engaged the author of the second link as well as the mammoth skeleton. See .. where the shark story is used to bring up the Noachian flood. Researchers say it is possible the lake has been frozen until recently. That is an idea that ignores the Mid Holocene warm period when the treeline expanded further north that it is today. As the author notes it is more likely the lake has been frozen and unfrozen on more than one occasion. The first link is ABC which is notoriously climate change crazy. A spike in temperatures at one location in NE Siberia led to headlines across the media claiming there was a heat wave in Siberia. ABC seem to be linking the discovery of the mammoth skeleton, in northern Siberia, to that heat wave, even after the hype suddenly went quiet after a week as evidence emerged that heatwaves in that particular location are common and have more to do with topography than anything else. There is no evidence of a heat wave in Siberia generally. It is continentle and temperatures climb in the summer - but to suggest they are hot enough to melt permafrost to any depth is far from reality. Anyway, they were found in a lake and the actual story doesn't mention ice. No doubt it freezes over in winter but we may assume it is generally ice free in summer - and has been for a long time. The hat tip to global warming is due to the ABC as I'm sure that the Russians themselves would welcome a touch of the sunbeam wobblies. The argument made at what is a creationist web site revolves around the discovery of ligaments on the bones. The inference is that this must mean the mammoth is much younger than 10,000 years ago (if the mammoth actually died at that time as mammoth remains have been dated much earlier). How much closer to nowadays would a mammoth have to live in order for ligaments to survive? He is of course thinking of just a few thousand years ago but ligaments would rot away within a few weeks or months so that argument is not necessarily as sensible as he thinks. If the mammoth had been buried in sediment and silt very quickly there is no reason why it would not have survived in a watery grave for 10,000 years or longer. The ligaments would have been preserved in the silt. For example, bogs and other watery graves have been useful for archaeology as the watery environment has preserved wooden artefacts, even cloth and reed baskets etc, all items that would rot away fairly quickly in the open air. The ligaments and other soft tissue that might be found is clearly down to the environment of the Pechevalavato Lake and its sedimentsSee also .... sent in by William,