Siberian frozen mammoth, 1799

Siberian frozen mammoth, 1799

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Siberian frozen mammoth. Illustration of the complete frozen mammoth found in Siberia in 1799 by Ossip Schumachoff who was looking for ivory on the banks of the River Lena in Siberia. He was unable to retrieve any part of it until he found it thawed out some years later. In 1806, accompanied by the naturalist Mikhail Adams, he returned to the site with a crew. Much of the mammoth had been eaten away by bears and foxes. Nonetheless Adams still retrieved the skeleton, one fleshed foreleg, most of the skin and forty pounds of hair. He later bought the tusks. It was the most complete mammoth ever discovered. In St Petersburg Wilhelm Gottlieb Tilesius reassembled the bones. His biggest mistake was that he mounted the tusks on the wrong sides so that they curved outward instead of inward. Artwork (with later colouring) by Dane Beard from Harpers Young People Illustrated Weekly, 1882.

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