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I really doubt this. I am siding with the "Punctuated equilibrium" variant of catastrophism. Check out "Voice of the Rocks" by Robert Schoch.
1 posted on 06/05/2002 3:34:29 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: vannrox; blam
FYI bump
2 posted on 06/05/2002 3:41:26 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: vannrox
*******
3 posted on 06/05/2002 3:42:21 PM PDT by remaininlight
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To: vannrox
The climate has changed radically at times when there was no extinction, and extinctions have occurred when the climate, at least roughly speaking, should have been benign. There is no question that there were catastrophic changes in temperature and probably in precipitation on many occasions in the past 100,000 years. We know that, for entirely natural reasons, temperature excursions of seven to 12 degrees Celsius occurred within that time period in the space of a century or less, which is basically 12 times the maximum rate of change in the last century of "global warming."

Global Warming is a Fraud Biggiddy Bumpiddy to the Tippiddy Toppiddy.

5 posted on 06/05/2002 3:52:23 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: vannrox
btw, do you have a link?
6 posted on 06/05/2002 3:55:45 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: vannrox
I think it was their body odor that did it...
7 posted on 06/05/2002 3:57:29 PM PDT by chilepepper
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To: vannrox
I really doubt this.

Me too. The problem as I see it is that humans were not present in large enough numbers to pass these diseases on over such a large area -- it breaks down for the same reason that he gives for the over-hunting hypothesis.

Not that it's completely out of line, however: the American Indians were practically wiped out within a few decades by various "pox" diseases.

8 posted on 06/05/2002 3:59:42 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: vannrox
extremely lethal disease, brought over by humans

Of course...of course...it had to be humans. I can't for the life of me understand why I didn't see it before.

10 posted on 06/05/2002 4:05:14 PM PDT by scouse
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To: vannrox
What killed the mammoths and other behemoths?

we all know drilling for oil in alaska killed them
13 posted on 06/05/2002 4:07:48 PM PDT by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: vannrox
Well, it wasn't me. My mammoth gun was in the shop.
16 posted on 06/05/2002 4:12:03 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: vannrox
"SA: So, in your opinion, even if the first Americans were highly skilled hunters, could their population sizes and the population sizes of these animals have been such that overkill would even be plausible?

RM: The answer is no, by any scenario. I don't care how early you want people to get into the New World, thereís absolutely no evidence of a positive sort that they were there in huge numbers. In fact, it has to be the opposite, whereas the animals, in some cases, had distributions that were continent wide. Some of the ground sloths, for example, are known from as far south as Mexico and from as far north as the Yukon. The notion that people in whatever numbers and with whatever intent could have come in and slaughtered enough sloths in every possible habitat where they lived in numbers sufficient to cause their extinction--this is unbelievable to me.

Hell - He doesn't WANT to admit the possibility/probability that early man killed them off. (See, if that were so, then early man WASN'T the perfect little innocent twho loved nature and lived co-equally with until Columbus came along and polluted the whole continent with those evil, nasty, European capitalistic christian ideas of free enterprise.

I've seen the other figures that show easily that a small band, moving at less than 300-500 miles PER YEAR could kill every large animal population in only few thousand years (between the 12,000 BC arrival to the 9000 BC death. In doing so, they'ed only need kill a reasonable fraction of each population each year ... no more than done now in Africa by the early tribes there.

20 posted on 06/05/2002 4:23:38 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE
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To: vannrox
What killed the mammoths and other behemoths?

Is this behemoth dead yet, or did the iceage let his fat ass slip by?

21 posted on 06/05/2002 4:28:36 PM PDT by AAABEST
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To: vannrox
Around 1110, in England, there was a very strange disease that killed all kinds of mammals and birds. No one knows what it was and it doesn't sound like any known disease. I read about it in an old book I have. Perhaps it was the same disease that caused the last mass extinction.
26 posted on 06/05/2002 4:41:32 PM PDT by Number_Cruncher
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To: vannrox
It never ceases to amaze me the lengths to which some politically correct scientists will go to deny the obvious. After all, they have to defend the myth of the American Indian as "noble, ecologically sensitive, soulful mystical types". They just can't admit that the sudden extinction of quite a few large mammal species in North America (horse, camel, mammoth, mastodon, giant sloth, etc.) coincided with the arrival of the American Indian (the current American Indian migrants from 10-15,000 years ago, not the earlier, non-American Indian migrants). What was different? Simple: they had better hunting technology and methods than earlier groups. Likewise for hunters in Europe and Asia in the same time period. Everywhere modern humans showed up with their latest hunting techniques, large animals disappeared; this was especially true in areas where humans were new arrivals: Australia, New Zealand, and Madagascar, for instance.

The fact is that these large, cold weather adapted mammals had survived numerous warm interglacial periods before, without going extinct. The difference then in those earlier interglacial periods was that either man did not yet exist, or later, man existed but did not have the very efficient tools and methods he would eventually develop about 15,000 years ago, or so. Without these, the mammoths and other large animals would still be around, because parts of North America, Northern Europe, and North Asia (Siberia) still resemble the climate and ecology which these animals inhabited during the ice ages; the only difference during the interglacial periods is that these ecological zones move northward. Mankind's better hunting skills were not going to make these animals extinct (necessarily) during the ice age, but during the difficult transition from ice age to interglacial period, the greater hunting skills of humans would have been enough to push several species into extinction when they were most vulnerable. Had ancient man had some kind of modern land management system (get your hunting license to hunt mammoth, etc.), then these animals would still be around. Instead, man overhunted them until they were gone (because they were easier to hunt or had more meat), and then switched to other species which were not as easy to hunt (and did not have as much meat) but which were better suited to survive man's predations.

And no one should buy this guy's "disease" argument. Where is the evidence that any large animal species was ever made extinct by disease? Sure, introduced diseases wiped out large numbers of American Indians, but they did not go extinct. They eventually developed resistence to these diseases, and survived. Animals are the same, and they do not live in large cities or other overpopulated clusters (unless domesticated by humans), so they are much less vulnerable to epidemics. This "theory" is nonsense, designed to deny the obvious effect that humans had on their environment; these politically correct types want you to believe that "environmental damage" is something that only rich white guys with modern technology are capable of doing. Rubbish. Mankind has been doing "environmental damage" ever since he discovered fire. It's an inevitable byproduct of human improvement; on the whole it was worth the price. No doubt some of the greenie-weenies disagree with me.

28 posted on 06/05/2002 4:50:15 PM PDT by Vast Buffalo Wing Conspiracy
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To: vannrox
"What killed the mammoths and other behemoths?"

Molly Ivins will tell you with authority, that is was the Republicans. What this author doesn't tell us is that the passing of the mammoths and other behemoths had a significantly more negative effect on blacks, minorities, the handicapped, and homosexuals than it did on the evil white Europeans who caused the disaster. I think the Times ran a series of front page articles to prove this and that the did contain several facts.

29 posted on 06/05/2002 5:00:46 PM PDT by Tacis
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To: vannrox
In one of my favorite episodes of The Simpsons, Homer has a time machine and travels back to the time of the dinosaurs and sneezes and watches one dinosaur after another catch his cold and keel over dead. Wow... I love that show. It contains all truth.
37 posted on 06/05/2002 5:43:30 PM PDT by Mercat
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To: vannrox
There is no known instance of a disease wiping an entire species off a continent in recorded history as far as I know. If you don't believe in cosmic catastrophes within the age of man, than the activity of man is the only thing left to try to explain the great pleistocene dieouts and that's basically what the "overkill" and "blitzkrieg overkill" theories amount to, i.e. an attempt to blame the recent loss of all of our North American megafauna on the ancestors of the American Indians.

Scientists have gone to lengths to explain how mammoths might have lived, commissioning artwork showing mammoths trooping through snow-covered tundras, their massive fur coats much in evidence. What these pictures don't show is silos or grocery stores in those tundras; the mammoths would need them.

The problem is that the bulk of mammoth remains are found in the far reaches of Canada and Alaska, and in Island groups to the North of Siberia in the Arctic circle.

The question is, how given anything like the standard version of Earth history, did vast herds of such large creaturesever find food when the entire territory is covered by ice ten months of the year? Elephants are gluttonous; they spend most of their waking hours eating, in fact, McGowan has stated that he does not understand how anything ever ate enough to get bigger than elephants since there would not appear to be time in the day for it.

You could literally take the healthiest elephant on Earth, fit him with the best fur coat and the best pair of jogging shoes in the world, start him off from any point on Earth habitable to elephants, and build for him a highway to the Liakhovs, and he would never get there. Winter would arrive and he would starve before he got there.

This conundrum has scientists flamboozled to so great an extent that their pronouncements on the subject often don't even sound coherent. Typical would be the mammoth article in the Talk.origins/Ediacara/Toromanura "FAQ" system which, aside from an irrelevant discourse on whether the occasional specimen found in the ice was quick-frozen or mummified, discusses every adaptation which the mammoth supposedly had for life in cold climes other than the vital one, i.e. what adaptation did they have for living without eating? Typically, the article notes that Arctic climes must have been significantly warmer than they are now to allow for mammoth herds, without telling us how that might have been given any possible history of our Earth which could be projected backwards to those times starting from present conditions and known processes, i.e. without using the dread non-word "catastrophe".

Velikovsky claimed that these vast herds, the remnants of which are seen in those arctic circle island groups, were peacefully grazing on vast fields which were in temperal zones, when the entire surface of the Earth shifted due to one of the catastrophes hediscusses, that they very quickly thus ended up in arctic regions along with their fields,and froze to death or otherwise died due to effects of the catastrophe itself.

Again, the real problems are:

1. how did vast herds of mammoths ever inhabit regions which a mammoth today could not even get to much less live in?

and

2. how do the vast bulk of their remains come to be found in obvious scenes of vast destruction?

Vine DeLoria is a past president of the National Council of American Indians and the best known American Indian author of the last 50 years or so. His "Custer Died for Your Sins" is the standard text on Indian affairs in universities.

The Native American section of any Barnes/Noble or Borders store will have ten or twenty of Vine's books, including one, "Red Earth, White Lies", which is a book about catastrophism, and about the megafauna dieouts. Deloria utterly destroys the "overkill" and "blitzkrieg overkill" theories, as well as the general Bering Strait hypothesis concerning how Indian Ancestors got here.

DeLoria Notes:

In even the most prejudiced murder trial there is one essential element: there has to have been a killing. Fancy legal terminology generally requires a body the corpus delictus as the TV detec- tive shows are fond of telling us. It would seem reasonable, if one was to promulgate a theory of blitzkrieg slaughter as have Martin and Diamond, to identiiy where the bodies are buried and then take the reader on a gut-wrenching tour through a graveyard of waste and butchery. We are deprived of this vicarious thrill because the evidence of the destruction of the megafiuna suggests a scenario well outside the orthodox interpretation of benign natural processes. Therefore mere mention of the reality of the situation is anathema to most scholars. So let us see what the actual situation is.

The first explorers of the northern shores of Siberia and its offshore northern islands and of the interior of Alaska, and some of its northern islands, were stunned to discover an astro- nomical number of bones of prehistoric animals piled indis- criminately in hills and buried in the ground. The graveyards of these animals were classified as "antediluvian" (prior to Noah's flood) by the majority of scientists and laypeople alike who still believed the stories of the Old Testament. Near these grave- yards, incidentally, but located in riverbanks on the northern shore of Siberia, are found the famous Siberian mammoths whose flesh was supposedly edible when thawed.

Reading an extensive set of quotations is always tedious to readers but I hope you will bear with me in this chapter be- cause it is only in the repetition of the reports of the discoveries of these areas that the entire picture of the demise of the mam- moths and other creatures really becomes clear. These Siberian remains are not the thousands of mammoth bones which Jared Diamond thinks are searched frantically by archaeologists seek- ing signs of human butchering. It is doubtful that any archaeol- ogists or paleontologists have made extensive studies of the skeletons in these locations or we would certainly have a far different view of megafauna extinction than is presently ac- ceptable to orthodox scholars.

Russian expeditions to Siberia and the northern islands of the Arctic Ocean began in the latter half of the eighteenth cen- tury, and with the discovery of these large mounds of animal bones, most prominently the tusks of mammoths and other herbivores, franchises were given to enterprising people who could harvest the ivory for the world market. Liakoff seems to have been the first iniportant ivory trader and explorer in the late eighteenth century. After his death the Russian govern- ment gave a monopo~ to a businessman in Yakutsk who sent his agent, Sannikofi, to explore the islands and locate additional sources of ivory. Sannikoff's discoveries of more islands and his reports on the animal remains found there are the best firsthand accounts of the Siberian animal graveyards.

Hedenstrom explored the area in 1809 and reported back on the richness of the ivory tusks. Sannikoff discovered the island of Kotelnoi, which is apparently the richest single location, in 1811. Finally, the czar decided to send an official expedition and from 1820 to 1823, Admiral Ferdinand Wrangell, then a young naval lieutenant, did a reasonably complete survey of the area. Since these expeditions and explorations were inspired by commercial interests and not scientific curiosity; the reports are entirely objective with no ideological or doctrinal bias to slant the interpretation of the finds.

Around the turn of the century interest in the Siberian is- lands seems to have increased, whether as a result of the few Christian fundamentalists who were not reconciled to evolu- tion frantically searching for tangible proof of Noah's flood, or as part of the leisure activities of the English gendemen of the time, we can't be sure. The definitive article on the Siberian prehistoric animal remains was written by the Reverend D. Gath Whitley and published by the Philosophical Society of Great Britain under the title "The Ivory Islands in the Arctic Ocean." It drew on older sources, primarily reports of expedi- tions of the ivory traders, and captured the spectacular nature of the discoveries well.

Liakoff discovered, on an island that now bears his name, rather substantial cliffs composed primarily of frozen sand and hundreds of elephant tusks. Later, when the Russian govern- ment sent a surveyor, Chwoinoff, to the island he reported that, with the exception of son~e high mountains, the island seemed to be composed of ice and sand and bones and tusks of ele- phants (or mammoths) which were simply cemented together by the cold.Whitley reported:


   Sannikoff explored Kotelnoi, and found that this large
   island was full of the bones and teeth of elephants, rhi-
   noceroses, and musk-oxen. Having explored the coasts,
   Sannikoff determined, as there was nothing but bar-
   renness along the shore, to cross the island. He drove in
   reindeer sledges up the Czarina River, over the hills,
   and down the Sannikoff River, and completed the cir-
   cuit of the island.All over the hills in the interior of the
   island Sannikoff found the bones and tusks of ele-
   phants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes, and horses in such vast
   numbers, that he concluded that these animals must
   have lived in the island in enormous herds, when the
   climate was milder.5

Hedenstrom explored Liakoff's island in 1809 and discov- ered that". .. the quantity of fossil ivory . . . was so enormous, that, although the ivory diggers had been engaged in collecting ivory from it for forty years, the supply seemed to be quite undiminished. On an expanse of sand little more than half a mile in extent, Hedenstrom saw ten tusks of mammoths stick- ing up, and as the ivory hunters had left these tusks because there were still other places where the remains of mammoths were still more abundant, the enormous quantities of elephants' tusks and bones in the island may be imagined?' Indeed, a number of explorers reported that after each ocean storm the beaches were littered with bones and tusks which had been ly- ing on the sea bottom and brought to shore by wave action.

The elephant or mammoth bones and tusks were the most spectacular finds primarily because they were so plentiful and consequently they attracted public attention the most. The is- lands contained an incredible mixture of bones of many extinct and some living species of mammals. Mixed with the animal bones were trees in all kinds of conditions. Whitley quoted some of the Russian explorers as reporting "it is only in the lower strata of the New Siberian wood-hills that the trunks have that position which they would assume in swimming or sinking undisturbed. On the summit of the hills they lie flung upon another in the wildest disorder, forced upright in spite of gravitation, and with their tops broken off or crushed, as if they had been thrown with great violence from the south on a bank, and there heaped up?'7

A few conclusions can be drawn from the reports of the Russian ivory traders. First, it appeared that several reasonably large islands were built primarily of animal bones, heaped in massive hills and held together by frozen sand. To indicate the scope of the debris, we should note that all of these islands are found on modern maps of the area, indicating that we are not talking about little tracts of land of limited area. Second, the sea floor north of Siberia and surrounding the islands was covered with so many additional bones that it was worthwhile for the ivory traders to check the beaches after every storm to gather up tusks and other bones.

Third, and very important for estimating the scope of the disaster, the ivory was of outstanding quality, so much so that the area provided most of the world's ivory for over a century. Estimates of the number of tusks taken from the islands range in the neighborhood of 100,000 pairs taken between the 1770s and the 1900s. Whitley noted that Sannikoff himself had brought away 10,000 pounds of fossil ivory from New Siberia Island alone in 1809.9- In reality; however, only about a quarter of the ivory was of commercial grade, so the true figure must approach half a million pairs of tusks.

Fourth, an amazing variety of animals, many extinct, were mixed with the mammoth and rhinoceros bones, although these two animals have become symbolic of the whole menagerie. Fifth, trees, plants, and other floral materials were in- discriminately mixed with the animal remains, sometimes lead- ing the Russians to suppose that the islands represented a sunken isthmus or broad stretch of land where these animals and the companion plants lived in a warmer climate. The chaotic na- ture of stratification of the remains soon abused that notion.

Finally, it is important to note that none of the bones of any of the species had carving or butchering marks made by human beings. N. K.Vereshchagin wrote: "The accumulations of mam- moth bones and carcasses of mammoth, rhinoceros, and bison found in frozen ground in Indigirka, Kolyma, and Novosibirsk lands bear no trace of hunting or activity of primitive man. Here large herbivorous animals perished and became extinct because of climatic and geomorphic changes, especially changes in the regime of winter snow and increase in depth of snow cover."9 The "climatic and geomorphic changes" must have been very sudden indeed and exceedingly violent, consid- ering the fact that these bones are always described as "heaps" of material deposited as if they had been thrown into a pile by an incredibly strong force.

The testimony regarding the richness of the animal remains in the Arctic north of the continental masses is not restricted to Russian sources. Stephen Taber, writing in his report "Perenni- ally Frozen Ground in Alaska: Its Origins and History," had this to say about the Siberian islands:

Pfizenmayer [citation omittedj states that in the New Siberia island collectors have "found inexhaustible sup- plies of mammoth bones and tusks as well as bones and horns of rhinoceros and other diluvial mammals"; and Dr. Bunge, during expeditions in the summers of 1882-1884, "gathered almost two thousand five hun- dred first class mammoth tusks on the new Siberian is- lands of Lyakhov; Kotelnyi, and Fadeyev;" although many collectors had previously obtained ivory from the islands since their discovery in 1770 by Lyakhov.~~

It would seem obvious to anyone seriously pursuing the question of the demise of the mammoth and the other mega- herbivores that a good place to locate the bodies to determine the cause of their demise would be the islands north of the Siberian peninsula. Yet we hear not a word about them in sci- entific articles and books concerning the overkill hypothesis.

When we inquire if the Alaskan area has similar deposits, we learn that the situation is the same. Early gold miners in Alaska discovered that in many cases they had to strip off a strange de- posit popularly called "muck" in order to get to the gold-bearing gravels.The muck was simply a frozen conglomerate of trees and plants, sand and gravels, some volcanic ash, and thousands if not milhons of bits of broken bones representing a wide variety of late Pleistocene and modern animals and plants.

Two scholars describe the scenes of destruction and chaos which the muck represents. Frank Hibben, in an article survey- ing the evidence of early man in Alaska, said that while the for- mation of muck was not clear,". . . there is ample evidence that at least portions of this material were deposited under cata- strophic conditions. Mammal remains are for the most part dis- membered and disarticulated, even though some fragments yet retain in this frozen state, portions of llgaments, skin, hair, and flesh. Twisted and torn trees are piled in splintered masses con- centrated in what must be regarded as ephemeral canyons or arroyo cuts."'1

Stephen Taber's report echoes the same conditions. He says: "Fossil bones are astonishingly abundant in frozen ground of Alaska, but articulated bones are scarce, and complete skeletons, except for rodents that died in their burrows, are almost un- known."'2 Many laypeople will be confused by this technical language and fail to grasp what Taber is saying, allowing him to imply a benign orthodox interpretation when the situation re- quires that a clearer picture be drawn.

When a scholar says "articulation" of bones he means an arrangement of bones that a person observing them would identify as a complete skeleton and from which an experienced observer could identify the species.To say that articulated bones are scarce, then, means that the bones are scattered and mixed so badly that expert examination is needed to idemify even the bone itself, let alone the species from which it comes. Remem- ber this problem of articulation, for we shall meet it again in another context. Taber concludes with the observation that "the dispersal of the bones is as striking as their abundance and indicates general destruction of soft parts prior to burial."13 In other words,Alaskan muck is a gigantic pile of bones represent- ing a bewildering number of species, a good number of them the megafauna I have been discussing.

We find the missing megafauna of the late Pleistocene in the Siberian islands, in the islands north ofAlaska, and in the muck in the Alaskan interior. Obviously we have here victims of an immense catastrophe which swept continents and left the de- bris in the far northern latitudes piled in jumbled masses that now form decent-sized islands. Most anthropologists and ar- chaeologists avoid discussing these deposits because the ortho- dox uniformitarian interpretation of the natural processes precludes sudden unpredictable actions.

Paul Martin, in private correspondence with me in June 1993, stated flatly that the mammoths could not have been de- stroyed by any such force or event.14 The sole basis he gave for that conclusion was radiocarbon dating of mammoth remains in the Siberian and Alaskan muck. I will have more to say about the reliability of radiocarbon dating below but if we were to accept his argument, then we would have to create a scenario where Paleo-Indians kill all these animals without leaving a trace of a spear point or hatchet blade, drag the carcasses out to sea some 150 miles north ofAlaska, and dispose of the evidence of their misdeeds. Here friendly wolves would not be much help.

Although Martin maintains that his thesis explains the disap- pearance of the megafauna, his argument really centers on the loss of three species: mammoths, mastodons, and ground sloths, with an occasional reference to horses and camels that makes it appear as if the important species have been covered. But overkill avoids asking about the possibly half-million mammoth skeletons lying frozen in the Arctic regions because that would completely negate the theory. <>


53 posted on 06/05/2002 6:46:24 PM PDT by medved
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To: vannrox
Socialism, brought on by the queen mother of all sloths....

Hillary,

IMHO, just a guess.

65 posted on 06/05/2002 9:17:40 PM PDT by SERE_DOC
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To: vannrox
So let me get this straight...this disease could jump across so many species as to wipe out Mammoth, Wolly Rhinos, Giant Sloths, Saber Tooth Tigers, Dire Wolves, Mega Elk...but their cousins, smaller elk, mountain lions, wolves and elephants did not die out? How is this possible? If this disease is so deadly and jumps animal families so easily, why wipe out the big ones and not the little cousins?
67 posted on 06/05/2002 10:22:28 PM PDT by Stavka2
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To: vannrox
A plague? Wow, I was always taught that we humans were the plague that wiped out the mammoths. :P
71 posted on 06/06/2002 6:41:24 AM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: vannrox
It was probably the Gun Show Loophole that did them in! IMO
73 posted on 06/06/2002 6:56:40 AM PDT by gilor
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