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Download Mammoth : The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant epub

by Richard Stone

Science writer Richard Stone follows two teams of explorers-one Russian/Japanese, the other a French led consortium-as they battle bitter weather, superstitions, shortages, to find wooly mammoth remains, to help find out how the mammoth lived, how it died, and how it might be brought back to life. 242 pages. 7.75 x 5.5 inches. 2002, Fourth Estate, London, Great Britain
Download Mammoth : The Resurrection of an Ice Age Giant epub
ISBN: 1841155179
ISBN13: 978-1841155173
Category: Science
Subcategory: Biological Sciences
Author: Richard Stone
Language: English
Publisher: Fourth Estate Ltd (2002)
Pages: 256 pages
ePUB size: 1986 kb
FB2 size: 1462 kb
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 897
Other Formats: mbr lit docx lrf

This book is enjoyable to read and packed with information. Richard Stone does a great job with the mostly scientific material while keeping it entertaining with descriptions of travel to Siberia. This book is an excellent primer on mammoths--their biology, their fossil record, the history of their discovery by humans, the theories of their extinction--and it has a bibliography if you would like to know more. But it is more than that. In discussing current research on mammoths, he covers paleontolgy, arctic exploration, Russian history, genetics, molecular biology, biogeography, and anthropology, and handles all of them equally well. The center piece of the book is the expedition to unearth the Jarkov mammoth and thaw it slowly to find out how intact it is (you would be surprised how many intact frozen mammoths have gone on record as having been left to the wolves to eat or fed to dogs, or just left to rot--what a waste!). The book ends with some uncertainty about how valuable the Jarkov mammoth will be, but that did not distract me from finding this a very satisfying book.
One small thing that would have made this book better is a graphic depiction of a timeline of the Pleistocene. I have trouble keeping my dates straight.
This fascinating little book is about a large and extinct creature, the mammoth. Evidence of this creature, which last walked the earth 37 centuries ago, seems to be scattered all over the place in North America and in Siberia. This book describes the work of a mixed band of mammoth enthusiasts as they search for mammoths frozen in the tundra of Russia's Far North.
There is an international cast in this story-a French arctic travel guide, Russian academics, Japanese experts in reproductive science, a Dutch amateur with a house stuffed with mammoth bones and, of course, the folks at the Discovery Channel trying to make this all into Good Television or, at least, Show Biz. Unfortunately, this book comes a bit too early--biotechnology has not advanced to the point where a mammoth might be cloned from scattered remnants of DNA and a superb specimen, frozen in the ice with useful bits intact, had not been found by the time the book went to press. Instead, author Richard Stone does an admirable job in sewing parts together to tell this story.
We learn that the inhabitants of Siberia believe that digging up the bones of mammoths brings bad luck, but there is nothing wrong with taking tusks when they are found. Huge numbers of tusks, estimated from 50,000 animals, have been shipped out in the last century. Scientists made arduous journeys trying to discover more about mammoths and our strong interest in them continues to this day. The book details how mammoths probably lived and alternative explanations about how they became extinct--through climactic change, being hunted or wiped out by disease.
This is quite interesting and the sections about cloning mammoths are highly imaginative and entertaining. Mr. Stone has done good research and writes engagingly of his voyages beyond the beyond. And he does not shy away from commenting on the ethical question of cloning extinct species. But at the end of the day, one has to wonder about the resources invested into the quixotic expeditions he details when there are pressing issues in habitat conservation today, including the protection of that much-loved and much-decimated relative of the mammoth, the elephant.
Recommended for those with an interest in science on the fringes...
The Woolly Mammoth, long gone from the world but not yet forgotten, was a major source of food, fuel and material for our early ancestors. Our early culture must have understood them but to us are still, in some way, a mystery.

How did they die, was it overchill or overkill? Did we do them in or did a germ do it? How come they lived through so so much to finally die in what seems a blink of an eye? This book is the tale of trying to find out the answers and, maybe, just maybe, find a way to bring them back to life. Yes, maybe if we could find a frozen body to get undamaged, useful, Mammoth DNA from we could do more than just understand them - we could clone them.

This book has many tales. The Mammoth Hunters trying to find a whole creature, the Scientists who want to understand the myster, the Discovery Channel trying to get a story and the Russians just trying to make a living and a quick buck.

Fun, but the ending was clear before I opened the book. As there is no baby Mammoths running about I know that they failed to clone them. Yet the book does give you a good overview of the history of Mammoth research and our knowledge of them. And some of the ideas, like bringing Canadian bison to Siberia

and African rhinos and elephants to North America are both amazing and risky.
This book is a very interesting discussion of three topics:

1) Why did the mammoths go extinct?

2) Is it possible (and desirable/ethical) to bring back the mammoths via cloning or interbreeding with modern elephants?

3) How did the demise of the mammoth and similar large mammals affect the vegetation and climate of the areas in which they lived (in this case Siberia). Russian scientists theorize that when the mammoths no longer grazed and churned up the ancient grasslands, the vegetation changed completely, into the tundra-wasteland that it is today.

Overall a very enjoyable short book that does not try to puff up the page count with hundreds of pages of irrelevant material.