Boy finds massive woolly mammoth tooth outside Ohio inn

A 12-year-old boy found this woolly mammoth molar outside his family's inn near Ohio's Honey Run Creek. From a post on the Inn at Honey Run's site:

Jackson writes in an account of the discovery, “I found the mammoth tooth about ten yards upstream from the bridge we had our family pictures on. It was partially buried on the left side of the creek. It was completely out of the water on the creek bed.”

Within a few days, the item was indeed identified by numerous scholars and professors including Dale Gnidovec of The Ohio State University’s Orton Geological Museum, Nigel Brush of Ashland University’s Geology Department, and P. Nick Kardulias College of Wooster’ Program of Archeology.

Now, Jackson awaits the safe return of his tooth, also writing, “I would like to have my tooth back in my hands as soon as possible. I want to show my friends.”

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Mammoth pirates plunder Russian arctic for "ethical ivory"

Reporter Amos Chapple went on an expedition with Russians engaging in the illegal but lucrative "ethical ivory" trade: pulling long-buried mammoth tusks from the permafrost, often by illegally gouging out entire hillsides. Read the rest

Resurrecting the dead — one piece at a time

Thanks to Jurassic Park, we tend to focus on one use for the DNA of extinct creatures — resurrecting them, in full, to live here in the modern age. But it's not necessary to go that far to learn a lot about those animals, and the evolution of life, in general. At the Experimental Podcast, Stephanie Vogt talks about the paleophysiologists who are reconstructing the proteins of extinct animals using fragments of DNA found in long-dead remains. Those proteins, simple as they may seem, hold some amazing stories. For instance, reconstructed haemoglobin from wooly mammoths could someday help doctors get oxygen to the brains of high-risk human surgery patients. Read the rest