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Mammoths stranded on Bering Sea island delayed extinction
University of Alaska Fairbanks ^ | 16-Jun-2004 | Contact: Marie Gilbert

Posted on 06/17/2004 8:07:34 PM PDT by ckilmer

Public release date: 16-Jun-2004 Contact: Marie Gilbert marie.gilbert@uaf.edu 907-474-7412 University of Alaska Fairbanks

Mammoths stranded on Bering Sea island delayed extinction Fossil is first record in the Americas of a mammoth population to have survived the Pleistocene Woolly mammoths stranded on Pribilofs delayed extinction Fossil is first record in the Americas of a mammoth population to have survived the Pleistocene St. Paul, one of the five islands in the Bering Sea Pribilofs, was home to mammoths that survived the extinctions that wiped out mainland and other Bering Sea island mammoth populations.

In an article in the June 17, 2004 edition of the journal Nature, R. Dale Guthrie, professor emeritus at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, says that when mammoths on the mainland of Alaska and other Bering Sea islands died out during the extinctions at the end of the Pleistocene era (about 11,000 years ago) those on the Pribilofs survived and new radiocarbon dates show how.

It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and the mammoth tooth fossil that demonstrates Guthrie's point is the first record in the Americas of a mammoth population surviving the Pleistocene.

"During the last glacial maximum, when the sea level was about 120 meters below its current level, what are now the Pribilofs were simply uplands connected to the mainland by a large, flat plain," Guthrie said.

Using accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) radiocarbon dating, bathymetric (water depth) plots, and sea transgression rates from the Bering Sea, Guthrie found that the mammoths became stranded on the Pribilofs about 13,000 years ago during the Holocene sea level rise after the last glacial maximum.

"Woolly mammoths became extinct on the mainland about 11,500 radiocarbon years ago," Guthrie said. At that time St. Lawrence Island was part of the Alaska mainland and presumably subject to the same extinction pressures as the mainland, but St. Paul had been an island for about 1,500 years.

"Radiocarbon-dated samples from St. Lawrence Island show similar dates of extinction to the mainland," Guthrie said, "but a sample from St. Paul dates to only 7,908 radiocarbon years old, into the mid-Holocene, which is much later."

The mammoths were able to survive on St. Paul so long as the island provided enough grazing forage and there were sufficient numbers of animals to prevent inbreeding pressures, Guthrie said, and at its present size of 36 square miles is too small to sustain a permanent mammoth population. St. Paul became that size about 5,000 years ago, so mammoths likely became extinct prior to that time.

St. Paul lies about 300 miles west of the Alaska mainland, and 750 air miles west of Anchorage.

### Contact information:

R. Dale Guthrie, professor emeritus Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907-479-6034, ffrdg@uaf.edu

Marie Gilbert, publications and information coordinator, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 907-474-7412, marie.gilbert@uaf.edu.

PDF of Guthrie's Nature article, "Radiocarbon evidence of mid-Holocene mammoths stranded on an Alaskan Bering Sea island" and an image of Dale Guthrie holding a mammoth molar are available by contacting Marie Gilbert, 907-474-7412, marie.gilbert@uaf.edu.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Alaska
KEYWORDS: beringsea; extinction; godsgravesglyphs; holocene; mammoth; mammoths; mammothtoldme; pleistocene; pribilofs; siberia; wrangelisland

1 posted on 06/17/2004 8:07:36 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: blam

ping


2 posted on 06/17/2004 8:09:11 PM PDT by Rebelbase ( aka Gassybrowneyedbum)
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To: ckilmer
Rules out volcanic dust ... etc.

St. Paul, one of the five islands in the Bering Sea Pribilofs, was home to mammoths that survived the extinctions that wiped out mainland and other Bering Sea island mammoth populations.

3 posted on 06/17/2004 8:13:13 PM PDT by GOPJ
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To: ckilmer

My interpretation: Man caused the extinction of the mammoth. These mammoths were on an island, protected from man, but eventually succumbed.


4 posted on 06/17/2004 8:14:09 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: ckilmer

I remember reading of an isolated population of mammoths on an island off Siberia, surviving well after the mainland population became extinct. The individual mammoths on the island became smaller in stature before finally going extinct.


5 posted on 06/17/2004 8:14:30 PM PDT by edwin hubble
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To: Brilliant

Most of the large mammals in North America mysteriously became extinct after the arrival of native Americans.


6 posted on 06/17/2004 8:16:56 PM PDT by edwin hubble
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To: ckilmer

I still can't figure out how species began as a single-mated pair and then thousands of generations later succumbed to in-breeding pressures.


7 posted on 06/17/2004 8:20:07 PM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: edwin hubble

Atkins!


8 posted on 06/17/2004 8:21:02 PM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: edwin hubble

It was on Wrangel Island.


9 posted on 06/17/2004 8:22:13 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: edwin hubble

The evidence is overwhelming it was human hunting....

The authour of "Guns, Germs, and Steel" thinks it was and that's one of the greates books I've ever read.

Unlike the large animals of Africa, the ones of North America didn't have humans gradually evolving so they could get used to the idea that humans were a danger to them......they were easy marks.


10 posted on 06/17/2004 8:26:42 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: edwin hubble
"I remember reading of an isolated population of mammoths on an island off Siberia, surviving well after the mainland population became extinct. The individual mammoths on the island became smaller in stature before finally going extinct."

I remember read that also.

11 posted on 06/17/2004 8:28:11 PM PDT by blam
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To: Brilliant
"These mammoths were on an island, protected from man, but eventually succumbed."

They were also isolated from diseases that may have killed the others. I don't think the human population was large enough to kill off all the things that went extinct...something else happened.

Surrounded by water on all sides, they would have been a few degrees warmer than those on the mainland.

12 posted on 06/17/2004 8:32:47 PM PDT by blam
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To: Strategerist

Unlike the large animals of Africa, the ones of North America didn't have humans gradually evolving so they could get used to the idea that humans were a danger to them......they were easy marks.
///////////////////
however the mammoths of siberia and europe also disspeared during the same period. mammoths of these areas had long lived side by side with humans.


13 posted on 06/17/2004 8:33:06 PM PDT by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer

Not really....the cold areas of Siberia were populated pretty late; MUCH later than the rest of Eurasia.


14 posted on 06/17/2004 8:35:04 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: ckilmer

Does anyone have a pic of the Mammoth found in Siberia a couple of years back?


15 posted on 06/17/2004 8:36:19 PM PDT by Lijahsbubbe (Don't feed the terrorists)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Battle Axe
But a shrinking population eliminates heterozygosity from outside environmental pressures and the gene pool actually shrinks.

From, or due to, which is it?

17 posted on 06/17/2004 8:57:39 PM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: Battle Axe
Let's assume the first pair had no fatal gene mismatches; the offspring arrive singly and to get a second breeding pair it is necessary to have male and female offspring which reach maturity. Now, barring contest and absent moral restrictions, there is nothing to prevent a male offspring from mating with the original female and with its sibling as well and conversely female to male sire and new, contemporary generations would occur, about 8 total at this point then 16...

It would seem that monogamy would play a great part in migratory behavior and opportunity.

Still, it would require a rather favorable enviroment for the establishment of a non repeating breeding cycle and a chance for long-term success.

18 posted on 06/17/2004 9:07:07 PM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: Battle Axe

Crap, I misspelled environment.


19 posted on 06/17/2004 9:09:03 PM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: Old Professer
Crap, I misspelled environment.

Use milieu; fewer letters; exoticker plural.

20 posted on 06/17/2004 9:26:54 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: edwin hubble

That was in the Channel Islands, off the coast of Santa Barbara.


21 posted on 06/17/2004 10:31:25 PM PDT by Defiant (Moore-On: That throbbing anticipation felt by a liberal hoping for America's defeat.)
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To: edwin hubble
The individual mammoths on the island became smaller in stature before finally going extinct.

I believe the same thing happened on Islands off of the coast of California.

22 posted on 06/17/2004 10:40:39 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.)
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To: Old Professer

Bad math. A species may have a founding individual who is an ancestor of every member of the species, but not necessarily a "founding pair" who are the ONLY ancestors of the species alive at the time. The founding individual may carry a mutation characteristic to the new species, which every member of the species has, but MANY other individuals alive at the time of the founding individual could still contribute to the gene pool of the species. That is because the SPECIATION (reproductive isolation from the predecessor species) doesn't occur at the time of the founding individual, but later.


23 posted on 06/18/2004 12:02:23 AM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
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To: VeritatisSplendor

There's got to be one turtle on the bottom.


24 posted on 06/18/2004 10:33:41 AM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: VeritatisSplendor
That is because the SPECIATION (reproductive isolation from the predecessor species) doesn't occur at the time of the founding individual, but later.

Simple tautology by way of deduction.

25 posted on 06/18/2004 10:34:59 AM PDT by Old Professer (lust; pure, visceral groin-grinding, sweat-popping, heart-pounding staccato bursts of shooting stars)
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To: 75thOVI; AndrewC; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; Berosus; CGVet58; chilepepper; ckilmer; demlosers; ...
From 2004. Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Catastrophism
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

26 posted on 08/14/2006 9:50:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

Fossil tusks of the mammoth - an extinct elephant - were found in northern Siberia and brought southward to markets at a very early time, possibly in the days of Pliny in the first century of the present era. The Chinese excelled in working delicate designs in the ivory, much of which they obtained from the north...

High in the north above Siberia, six hundred miles inside the Polar Circle, in the Arctic Ocean lie the Liakhov Islands. Liakhov was a hunter who, in the days of Catherine II, ventured to these islands and brought back the report that they abounded in mammoths' bones.

"Such was the enormous quantity of mammoths' remains that it seemed...that the island was actually composed of the bones and tusks of elephants, cemented together by icy sand."

The New Siberian Islands, discovered in 1805 and 1806, as well as the islands of Stolbovoi and Belkov to the west, present the same picture. "The soil of these desolate islands is absolutely packed full of the bones of elephants and rhinoceroses in astonishing numbers. These island were full of mammoth bones..."

quotes from "The Ivory Islands in the Arctic Ocean"
Journal of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain, XII (1910)

from Earth In Upheaval. by Immanuel Velikovsky.

(The polar islands are frozen for ten months of the year. What did the mammoth and the rhino's eat before they decided to lie down and die, I wonder?)


27 posted on 08/14/2006 10:20:05 PM PDT by Fred Nerks (ENEMY + MEDIA = ENEMEDIA)
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To: Fred Nerks
The polar islands are frozen for ten months of the year. What did the mammoth and the rhino's eat before they decided to lie down and die, I wonder?
Buttercups. ;')
28 posted on 08/15/2006 7:26:35 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Thursday, August 10, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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