Archive for the ‘Mammoths’ Category

Lord Jeffrey Mammoth

April 5, 2017

Announcing: the Amherst Mammoths.

On the Boston Globe site on the 3rd, “After sending Lord Jeff packing, Amherst College picks mammoth as mascot”:

Amherst College announced Monday that it had selected the mammoth as its new mascot, turning to a signature member of the institution’s natural history collection as its new symbol and concluding a lengthy — and at times controversial — debate over how best to represent the selective liberal arts school.

“The word mammoth conjures up an image of a mighty, imposing and fierce animal — the perfect symbol of Amherst’s strength, academically and athletically,” a college spokeswoman said in a statement.

The college, whose Beneski Museum of Natural History has kept a skeleton of a Columbian mammoth since 1925, had decided more than a year ago to do away with its unofficial mascot, Lord Jeff. That name had historical connotations that drew increasing concern around campus. Lord Jeffery Amherst, who commanded British forces in North America during the French and Indian War, supported giving smallpox-contaminated blankets to Indians, historians say.

The mammoth will be the school’s official mascot, a distinction that Lord Jeff never held, and one that will allow it to be featured on sports garb and promotional materials.

Amherst chose the mascot after voting by alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Close to half of the 9,295 votes were cast for the mammoth, school officials said. The vanquished finalists were the Fighting Poets, Purple and White, Valley Hawks, and Wolves.

In the Beneski Museum, the Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) with digitally added Amherst College hat:



Silver mammoth

January 19, 2016

By an odd and indirect route, I went searching on { silver mammoth } this morning, and found two items of interest: a Canadian coin and a Brazilian hard rock band. The coin:


and from the band’s homepage:



Hunting mammoths in the Arctic

January 17, 2016

… 45,000 ago.

Passed on by Michael Palmer, from PastHorizons: adventures in archeology, “Mammoth injuries indicate humans occupied Arctic earlier than thought” (from the 15th):

The carcass of a frozen mammoth with signs of weapon-inflicted injuries suggests humans were present in the Eurasian Arctic ten millennia earlier than previously thought. These results, which provide perhaps the oldest known story of human survival in the Arctic region, date human presence there to roughly 45,000 years ago, instead of 35,000 years ago, as previously thought.

Sergey Gorbunov excavating the mammoth carcass. Pitulko et al., Science (2016)


The woolly whale

January 10, 2016

From master archivist Michael Palmer (who also knows that the woolly mammoth is my principal totem animal) yesterday, a notice from the Yale University Library of the book Guide to the Press of the Woolly Whale Records by Sandra Markham. That’s a guide to the

[ Press of the Woolly Whale ]  [ Records ]  ‘records of the Press of the Woolly Whale’

I’ll turn to the Press of the Woolly Whale in a moment, after noting that woolly whales also appear in the name of a British jewelry company and in at least two art works. Who knew? It seems that a number of people have been amused by the idea of a bizarre hybrid of a whale and a woolly mammoth.

I’ll get to the jewelry and the artworks too.


The very model of a mammoth from Michigan

October 3, 2015

(Mammuthiana rather than linguiana.)

Passed on by several Facebook friends, a story from WBIR Channel 10 in Detroit with a report from the Detroit Free Press yesterday: “Farmer digs up woolly mammoth bones in soybean field” by Daniel Bethencourt. A photo:


Birthday flowers

September 6, 2015

I’m a few hours into my 75th birthday — 75 is a seriously round number — and already I’ve gotten (electronically) two wonderful cards, both with flowers on them, both leading to another plant family, the Asparagaceae, though neither depicts an asparagus (instead, a lily-of-the-valley and a  Joshua tree, which are, amazingly, in the asparagus family). As a bonus, the first card introduces (via four flowers) three more plant families I haven’t discussed in my recent postings on plant families —  one of which, the Primulaceae (which comes via the pimpernel plant), I’ll talk about here. As a further bonus, the second card has a nearly naked young man with notable abs (and a woolly mammoth).


Underground Mastodon

April 25, 2015

From Sim Aberson, this tile from the NYC subway, at the 81st Street – Museum of Natural History Station:


That’s the American mastodon. And this is a marker for an underground mastodon (note nice double dactyl: Higgledy piggedy / Undergound mastodon …).

A few words about mammoths and mastodons.


The mammoth genome

April 24, 2015

From Sim Aberson on Facebook, from BBC Science, “Mammoth genome sequence completed” by Pallab Ghosh, beginning:

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth.

A US team is already attempting to study the animals’ characteristics by inserting mammoth genes into elephant stem cells.

They want to find out what made the mammoths different from their modern relatives and how their adaptations helped them survive the ice ages.

The new genome study has been published in the journal Current Biology.


Name that mammoth

November 3, 2014

From the BBC News on 8/4/14, “Ipswich mammoth called”:

A life-size woolly mammoth model has finally been named – thanks to inspiration from The Black Eyed Peas singer and The Voice star

Ipswich Museum has had the previously unnamed model of the prehistoric mammal since the 1980s.

The museum’s under-fives group has now chosen from a shortlist.

Rejected names included Manny, the mammoth in The Ice Age films, and Mick or Micky for Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and ex-captain Mick Mills.

Jayne Austin, museum development manager, said: “We’d just never named him, even though our stuffed rhinoceros has been called Rosie since the 1960s.”

(Hat tip to Chris Ambidge.)

On the mammoth as my totem animal, here. is a great name, especially since it can outlast the singer It’s still a cute pun.

Mammoth silliness

October 30, 2014

From the comic strip The Argyle Sweater on the 28th:

Think of types of dogs, and translate that into mammoths. Mammoths are a bit large for some of these activities, but then there’s the oxymoronic toy mammoth.