Friday, April 06, 2012

1896 Maine newspaper mastodon article

Just in case you think the Press Herald doesn't publish articles as exciting as you might hope them to be, here is an example of some of the more sensational items they published more than a century ago!

This appears courtesy of a guest post from Loren Coleman (those of you on the mailing list may have already seen this):
The Portland Press [of Portland, Maine] of November 28 [1896] publishes a long conversation with Col. C. F. Fowler, late of the Alaskan Fur and Commercial company, in which he gives very clear evidence that in the interior of Alaska many mastodons still survive. He first discovered among some "fossil" ivory collected by the natives two tusks which showed evidence of being recently taken from the animal which carried them.

On questioning the native who sold it to him he was surprised to receive a full description of the immense beast which had been killed by the natives, a description fully identifying the animal with the mastodon.

Col. Fowler quotes Gov. Swineford, of Alaska, as having also investigated this matter and as being satisfied that on the high plateaus of that country large herds of mastodons still roam unmolested by the natives, who fear them greatly.

The Alaska News also admits that the evidence of their existence is too strong to be denied.

Source: Portland Press. "Do Mastodons Exist? ­ Good evidence that at least one species still lives." Decatur Daily Republican. Decatur, Illinois. Monday, March 29, 1897. (Credit: Denny Gayton, T. Peter Park)


I was reminded of this while I was posting, "Mammoth Megafauna Mammal Massacre," here:

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