byYuri BURLAKOV, Vice-President of the Association of Polar Explorers; Alexander SMIRNOV, Dr. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.), senior research fellow of the All-Russia Scientific-Research Institute "Okeangeologiya" (St. Petersburg)
Due to permafrost, underground burials of mammoths exist up to the present time. The geography of such findings covers the greater part of the areas of Russian polar region from Kola Peninsula to Chukotka. Meanwhile, the extraction of tusks started long before the beginning of systematic studies in the 18th century: fossil analogues of ivory were traditionally used in bone-carving trade.
WHERE DO FOSSIL GIANTS OCCUR?
Such findings are most frequent in northern regions of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). According to recent data mammoth's tusks of later type (Mammuthus primigenius) are found in enormous quantities on the isle of Bolshoi Begichev in Khatanga - Lena interfluve, in Nordwick Bay and on the Laptev Sea coast-from the mouth of Peschanaya river to Olenek Bay. But most unique paleontological discoveries were made in the Lena - Kolyma interfluve, more specifically, on the eastern coast of Bykovsky Peninsula. There in 1799 the corpse of "Adams' Mammoth" was found, in 2002-the body of "Yukagirsky Mammoth" (in Buor-Khai Bay), great segregation of bones were also found on Oiyagossky and Khaptashinsky gills along the Dmitri Laptev Strait.
Closer to the Lena estuary the remains are found in relic loessial-glacial formations of the upper Pleistocene (150 - 10000 years ago) - the so-called edomas. Edoma formation developed within the littoral lowland area of Northern Yakutia and on Novosibirsk islands, whereas on the flooded shelf it is traced in fragments. It was formed in the continental conditions, when the region was dominated by arctic steppes with rich fauna: mammoths, rhinoceroses, bisons, oxen, horses, reindeer, saigas, cave lions and hyenas. In the period of mass extinction of animals, a ... Читать далее