Hunting mammoths might not appear to be the most direct sign of global warming, but an article in the LA Times this week has convinced us.
“Russian scientists disagree over whether global warming is responsible. Some say yes, others are skeptical. But nobody argues that the permafrost is dwindling,” and as the Siberian permafrost disappears, it exposes the thousand year old remains of frozen mammoths, their bones and tusks ready for collection.
A small industry of mammoth hunters has sprung up, and even have a new verb mamontit to describe the act of looking for bones. The best samples go to museums or collectors, the rest to carving factories, where they are made into “picture frames, chess sets, pendants.”
The bones owe their popularity in part to the fact that they come from an extinct species, and not an endangered one. Where elephant ivory is banned, mammoth bone may not be.
The entire article may be found here.