Chapter 1: The Berezovka Mammoth
Where have they found the Berezovka mammoth? Who has discovered it and when? In what kind of a climate and on what kind of a plant-cover has this elephant lived? Was it adapted to an arctic climate? What have scientists found out about this?
Map of Northeast Asia, with places, where they have found the remains of the woolly mammoth and its companions. The Berezovka River is an eastern tributary of the Kolyma River. From: Vereshchagin and Baryshnikov (1982:270) Fig. 1.
Cut-bank of Berezovka River, Northeast Siberia, where they found the frozen mammoth, before they dug it out. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
The German/Russian paleontologist E. W. Pfizenmayer, then at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, explains, what happened in the year 1901, when they came, to dig out this valuable find at the Berezovka River, an eastern tributary of the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia:
"Already quite a while before the mammoth carcass came into sight, an odor, not lovely at all, hit my nose, similar to the fumes, coming from a poorly kept horse stable, strongly mixed with carrion smell. Then, after a turn of the path, the skull, rising up high, appeared. And now we were standing at the grave of this diluvial gigantic animal! Rump and limbs were still sticking partially in the earth masses, wherein the carcass had slid down from above out of one of the wide crevasses of the ice-bank. The walls of this ice-bank were rising up at several places nearly vertically above the area, (where the soil) had fallen down." (1926:126).
The Cossack Innokenti Jawlowski, a trader in Kolymsk, told Pfizenmayer: "During the middle of August 1900, several Lamuts (NE Siberian natives) had stayed here for a while, in order to hunt. One of them, Semen Tarabykin by name, told the Cossack later in Kolymsk the following: He had followed with his dog the track of a moose (Europ. elk). His dog then led him to the inviting food, to the mammoth carcass, sticking out partially from the earth-masses. The head, with its soft parts, was then still preserved. It also had a ‘nose’, as long as a one-year old reindeer calf and at the head a tusk could be seen.
"Since he was afraid of the strange find, he had not dared to touch it, and had gone back half a day’s journey to his urossa (tent), where also two other Lamut families were staying. He told them, what he had found. On the following morning, three of them went back to this place of discovery, and chopped off the tusk with a hatchet from the head. On the head and back, also lying partially exposed, the wolves had quite some time ago already torn out pieces of skin and flesh from the back, even together with the bones, and had eaten it, as the many old tracks of these carnivores showed them. They did assume then that the head and back of the mammoth has lain there exposed already for quite some time; the carcass must have slid down already from the upper edge of the river-bank early in spring, and was thereby then partially exposed. At the end of August, the three Lamuts then went to Kolymsk and traded from Jawlowski articles for the tusk, whereby they told him about this find." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:127, 128).
"When looking at it from the opposite right bank of the river, the mammoth carcass lay nearly in the middle of the cutbank. At a declination of about 35°, it is coming down from its upper edge, bearing the taiga, down to the river. It has a total height of 55 meter. On top, beneath a moss-covered layer of humus, the 2 to 3 meter thick layer of loamy earth appears. And beneath this loamy layer of earth, at several places the nearly vertical walls of ice can be seen.
"These walls of ice, like the cutbank field, are facing toward the east. During the whole summer, they are therefore exposed all the time to the heat of the sun, and are melting away. This melt-water combines itself with the snow- and rainwater, coming down from the taiga. And it finally causes the masses of earth to slide downward. They are moving all the time, since also the ice is melting, with which it is mixed, and which is supporting it.
"The ice walls themselves are a part of a large bank of diluvial ice, extending through the whole steep river bank. At several places, vertical walls (of this ice), 5 to 8 meters high, one can see, and they have many cuts and crevasses, which, though, are filled up with earth and talus. On this bank of ice, also the mammoth carcass was resting, together with the masses of earth, surrounding it. When the carcass had been completely excavated, and when its different parts had been removed, we had a pit dug, 2 meters square, at the deepest point of the place of excavation. Already at a depth of 1.90 meter we came upon solid ice of a brownish color. The same type of ice also the ice-wall is showing, being exposed, 5 meter high, above the place of excavation. In order to investigate this still further, we had two more pits dug out: one at the upper edge of this ice-wall, 25 meters towards the taiga (= larch forest), and the third (pit) 5 meters above the surface of the river, so that all three of them were lying in a vertical line. Also these other two pits had at a depth of 2 and 2.30 meter solid ice with the same color.
"This proved that the ice-bank was extending from the taiga down to the bank of the river, and perhaps still further beneath the river-bed itself, namely at the same angle, as the cut-bank itself. The ice at the exposed parts of the ice-walls and also the ice, which we found in the three pits, we had dug, was at first of a brownish color, and contained many air-bubbles, standing closely together, having a longish shape. When chopping down deeper, it became more and more brighter. The ice became clearer, finally transparent, and the small air-bubbles had in these deeper places usually a round shape and were not as numerous. But when this ice has been exposed to the air for some time, it will also get this brownish color, just as (the ice) in the upper layers. These characteristics of the ice also prove that this bank is a part of the diluvial inland-ice, as one often finds it in arctic Siberia, and that at these places, often well-preserved diluvial bodies of animals are found." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:130, 131).
The cut-bank at the Berezovka River, above the place, where they found the mammoth. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
"Baron E. von Toll, as leader of the Russian polar expedition of 1903, was killed by an accident. He has done much to study the geology of arctic Siberia. During the nineties years of the last century, he has afterwards studied most of the older places, where the carcasses of mammoths and rhinoceroses have been found, trying to find out, how they had been bedded. Thereby, he also found out that Adams’ mammoth, found 1799 at the Lena Delta, and brought later on to Petersburg, had been frozen in a crevasse of a 60 to 80 meter high cut-bank of a large bank of diluvial stone-ice, exposed at the Lena River.
"This ice-banks was not an old collection of floating pieces of ice, whose gaps and crevasses were filled out later on with silt. Just like our ice-bank (at the Berezovka), also the cracks in the much larger ice bank at the Lena Delta, have been then slowly filled from above with earth. And the surface of the ice-bank was covered then so much with wind-blown and water-drifted earth that a sparse tundra-flora was able to grow there.
"Toll concluded from his investigations that this Siberian stone-ice is not recent at all, but the remains of diluvial inland-ice, which once covered large parts of the surface of the earth. Then it was slowly covered with a layer of earth. Then it has been preserved till now in the Polar Regions in more or less extensive ice-banks. The investigations about the bedding-conditions of our mammoth verified Toll’s statements. They showed us that the animal has been preserved in the same way, as Toll had found out about Adams’ mammoth, why it has been preserved. In both cases, the fossil animal bodies were lying in crevasses of the diluvial inland-ice, were covered then by silt at a low temperature, and due to the cold and the ice-packing, have stayed frozen ever since.
"Death must have certainly occurred very quickly, after it had fallen into a crevasse in the ice, for in its mouth, on the well-preserved tongue, and between its molars we found unchewed food. It consisted of leafy plants and grasses, of whom a few had seeds. ... The mammoth has suddenly come to its end in autumn." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:131, 132). - Comment: Diluvial or diluvian from diluvium, relating to or effected by a flood, according to Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1977:320).
A Lamute hunter (Old Siberian native) with his “Manschtschik”. That is a reindeer, which he has trained, for hunting wild reindeer. He hides behind his tame reindeer, when sneaking up to the wild reindeer. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
The ice-walls above the place, where they found the Berezovka mammoth. They are 5 to 8 meters high. That is the part, at the top, which one can see. This ice-cliff, is covered by the mud and larch trees, which have fallen down from the top, from the taiga. The whole ice-cliff goes all the way down to the River, if not still further beneath the river-bed. This ice-wall is about 50 meters high. This means: A layer of auf-ice, about 50 meters thick, has covered here once the whole river valley. Melt-water in summer has washed the frozen body of the Berezovka mammoth into one of the crevasses on top of this mighty layer of auf-ice. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
Excavating the Berezovka Mammoth
What did E. W. Pfizenmayer and his co-workers find, when digging out the mammoth at the Berezovka River in northeastern Siberia?
He tells us: "I now cut through the only soft parts, still left on the skull, and which, because of their position, had been protected from destruction (= by the wolves), namely the muscle-cords, which connected it with the lower jaw at the condyles and their joint-pits at the upper skull. Now the heavy skull could be lifted off with united strength.
"We came now to the food-remains, which lay openly on the molars of the left half of the lower jaw. They were chewed through only partially yet, and we also found now a smaller part on the still very well preserved tongue. But it could only be reached, without being spoiled, when the lower jaw was removed. On the remains of the food, which has lain between the molars, the impressions of the tooth-lamella could be clearly seen.
"The remains of the food in the mouth, and also the food remains in the partially preserved stomach, of which we were able later on to preserve 30 pounds, consisted only, as already mentioned, of grass species, and also of higher flowering plants. On some of them, seminal capsules were still preserved. But we found no remains of conifers, so that we must conclude that conifers did not belong to the food of our pachyderm.
"As soon, as we had removed the last remains of earth from the back, we saw the ribs and the dorsal vertebrates. Carnivores had hurt several ribs and had torn out several dorsal vertebrae. These parts were loosened, and then I cut through the skin, which had thawed. Then I cut off the skin at the right side of the belly, which had already thawed out enough, so that heat was able to get into the inside of the carcass, where everything was still solidly frozen.
"Now the walls of the stomach could be seen. They had a grayish-black, in some places, a dark-brown color, and were strongly decomposed. They had also been torn apart by carnivores, so that out of the rents everywhere the contents of the stomach were coming out. Of the vital intestines, heart, lung, liver, nothing was preserved. Carnivores have obviously eaten them up. Of the skin on the head, a few parts were still there, so the right cheek with the lower half of the eyelid, with a deep eye-lash-bag, and also the lower lip, which was covered with blackish stiff hairs." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:147-149).
"The well preserved flesh on the upper arm, on the upper thigh, and also on the pelvis, was covered with thick layers of fat. As long as it was still frozen, it had a rather delicious appearance of a dark-red color, just like frozen beef and horsemeat, but was more coarse-fibered. But as soon, as it thawed out, it changed its appearance completely. It became flabby and gray, and gave off a distasteful, stinking, ammonia-like smell, which went through every-thing. Fat on the carcass was richly present everywhere. It had a whitish gray color, and was in the deeper layers strikingly spongy. Beneath the up to 2-centimeter thick leather-skin, there was a layer of fat, in some places up to 9 centimeter thick...
"I had much trouble cutting through the still frozen right front-leg, between shoulder blade and upper arm-bone. When cutting through the soft parts of the upper arm along its length, down to the bone, I not only found that the bone was broken in the middle, but that between the muscles, connective tissue, and fatty tissue, where the bone was broken, there was a large effusion of blood. This bone has undoubtedly broken, when the animal fell down, just like the double pelvic fracture, with the same attendant symptoms, which we found later on.
"Later on, during the scientific investigation and exploitation in the Academy (in St. Petersburg), it was possible, to make from several parts of the extremities muscle- and ligament preparations, just like from recent animal bodies. Also the large nerve cords could be well prepared, and even the blood vessels still withstood injections. This shows us best, in what an excellent state of preservation the mammoth came into the far-away Neva-city (= St. Petersburg).
"Beneath the sole of the right front-foot, we dug out the end of a tail, thickly covered with hair... The end of a tail comes from a bovide, probably from Bison priscus... The find has a total length of 22 centimeters and is covered with very short hair, down to the tip, where there is a thick tuft of 10 centimeters length." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:150-153).
"When removing the stomach, we found between it and the partially preserved diaphragm large amounts of clotted blood, which we gathered into a sack, and wherein we then also transported it. It consisted of larger and smaller clumps of blackish-brown color, dissolved easily in cold water and colored it muddy dark red. When frozen, this old clotted blood felt like coarse dry sand.
"The 21st of September is marked red in my diary, also the 10th of October. On the first day I helped with the diggings for the first time, when coming to the place of discovery, and on the 1st of October they were finished. When our digging and preserving work, lasting many weeks, was nearly finished, we had a special surprise. We had taken out the pelvis, which was broken at two places, out of the masses of flesh, which had enclosed it, and which at first had been as hard as stone. Hence, now we were able to lift out also the large remaining parts of the belly and hind-part. This largest piece of skin of the mammoth carcass we wanted to bring to Petersburg in one piece.
"We lifted with our men the 150 kg mass of skin, cut free now all around, very carefully. And then we had reason to be happy in a twofold way, when seeing on its under-side the tail, anus, and penis of our mammoth. I would like to point out here at once: due to its fortunate bedding, these parts of the body were in a very fine state of preservation.
"Already three days before that, we had dug free hard-frozen soft-parts, but did not know then, what it was, which appeared beneath the skin of the belly, which was also still frozen. This unknown something turned out to be the penis. Through the pressure of the body, which had rested on it, it had been flattened. It was completely pressed flat, measured 1.05 meter, and was 10 cm above the Orificium urethrea 19 centimeters wide. If the erection has occurred due to shortness of breath, this would also prove then that the animal was choked to death, when falling into a crevasse of the ice." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:165-167).
The woolly mammoth from the Berezovka River, which a Lamute (Siberian native) found in August 1900, while hunting a moose (European elk). From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926) The head of the frozen mammoth was then still preserved. Also its trunk and one tusk were still there. During the next months, the wolves – as the tracks on the ground showed -, had eaten up most of the soft parts at the surface of the skull. The frozen body of this elephant has lain in a crevasse of the old auf-ice. This auf-ice, at least 50 m thick, has filled then the whole valley. The Berezovka mammoth was lying in a crack of this diluvial inland-ice, near the surface. And it was covered then by silt and mud at low temperature, just like Adams’ mammoth in the Lena delta (E. W. Pfizenmayer, 1926). The exposed ice-cliff has then molten back more and more each summer. The carcass must have slid down already onto the cut-bank of the river in early spring of 1900 from the upper edge of the riverbank. - The Berezovka mammoth has lived in 2370 B.C.E., in a mild, temperate climate. It has perished in 2370 B.C.E. in the global Flood of Noah’s days. And this global Flood has also buried this giant beneath a mantle of watery silt.
The Lamutes (Old-Siberian natives) Taitchin and Amuksan during their fare-well visit at the mammoth site. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
The Berezovka mammoth, partly dug out. At the left (from the onlooker’s point of view) the German-Russian paleontologist E. W. Pfizenmayer. From: V.V. Ukraintseva, Vegetation Cover and Environment of the ‘Mammoth Epoch’ in Siberia (1993:9) Fig. 2a.
The skull of the Berezovka mammoth, when dug out in the autumn of the year 1901. The skin and muscles at the surface of the skull the wolves have eaten up during the last months. There were still chewed plants between the molars on its left side, with the impression of the molars on the plants (see, please, bottom left, in picture). The remains of plants they also found on the well-preserved tongue. The stomach contained 27 pounds of food remains: also many chewed pieces of large grasses (O.F. Herz, 1904; E.W. Pfizenmayer, 1926).
The stomach of the Berezovka mammoth contained also the large remains of the barley plant Hordeum violaceum, according to B.A. Tichomirov, Professor of Botany in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) (1958). Botanist, Professor V.V. Ukraintseva (1993:157) states also, that the stomach contents of the Berezovka mammoth contained the macro-remains of the barley plant Hordeum violaceum. This barley plant is living now between the Caucasus and the Black Sea, some 6300 km southwest of the Berezovka River. It is also growing in Iran and Armenia-Kurdistan (Meusel et al., 1965:43). This elephant has lived in a mild, temperate climate, without an arctic winter, without ice and snow – before the global Flood of Noah’s days, in the year 2370 B.C.E, according to Bible chronology. And in this global Flood this giant suddenly perished. It did not even have time to swallow the plants, it was chewing, nor to digest the plants, it had already eaten.
The left front-leg of the Berezovka mammoth, up to its elbow, with hair-cover. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926). The foot of the woolly mammoth has not been larger, than that of the living East African savannah elephant.
The most valuable piece of skin of the Berezovka mammoth (as Pfizenmayer put it), with its tail, erected penis and testicles. If the erection occurred due to shortness of breath, this would prove then, that the animal has choked to death, paleontologist E. W. Pfizenmayer (1926) concludes. At the base of the mammoth’s tail there is an anal-flap. Also the living elephant has such an anal flap.
Other Discoveries at the Berezovka River
What else have they found at the Berezovka River, where the mammoth bull was discovered, and nearby? Which other kinds of animals have lived up there together with the woolly mammoth? How many mammoth tusks is one finding there in NE Siberia each summer? And how many woolly mammoths do these tusks represent?
E. W. Pfizenmayer: "The remains of the fossil rhinoceros ... are found in Siberia, wherever also mammoth bones and teeth are found. The Siberian rhinoceros was about as large as the Cape-rhinoceros (in South Africa). It was reaching therefore a shoulder height of about 1.60 meters, and a body length of 3.5 meters. It was carrying, like its African relative today, behind its front-horn, sitting right in front of the nose, and which on strong bulls had a length of more than one meter, above its eyes on its fore-head, a second horn. ... The horns of the Siberian rhinoceros can be easily bought, for they are collected by the promishlenniks (ivory gatherers), just like the mammoth tusks, and do have their certain market-price, depending on their size and quality." (1968:243, 246).
"At the cut-bank of the Berezovka, we found several bones of the wisent (= bison), and also two horn-sheaths of different size. When digging out our mammoth carcass, we even found a completely preserved wisent-tail. All this proves, how common the wisent (= bison) has been once in the Siberian North. In Shigansk I bought in 1908 a very well preserved bison skull with complete horn-sheaths. An ivory gatherer had found it close to where the Wilui River is flowing into the Lena.
"The fossil wild horse ... has left its remains behind everywhere in central and northern Siberia. In the area of Yakutsk, there is nearly no place, where the fossil remains of the horse have not been found, where not also the skeletal remains of it do occur. In the area of the steep river-bank of the Berezovka, we found among the trunks of the larch trees, lying there around chaotically, and masses of earth, which had fallen down, a well preserved fossil horse upper skull, on which still pieces of muscle-fiber were hanging." - Pfizenmayer, E. W. (1926:243-247).
Siberia’s Mammoth Tusks
How large are the largest mammoth tusks that they have found in Siberia? How heavy are they? How many mammoth tusks does one find in NE Siberia, and then sell to the traders in one year? How many kilograms of ivory is that per year? And how many woolly mammoths does this ivory represent, which is found each year in NE Siberia? - The average weight of the mammoth tusk in NE Siberia – from mammoth baby to old mammoth bull – is 30 kg, according to N. K. Vereshchagin (1974).
In the year1908, E. W. Pfizenmayer was sent again to NE Siberia, to recover the remains of two more woolly mammoths, reported to the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg. Pfizenmayer was leading now this expedition. The remains of one mammoth lay in the frozen ground at the Sangayuarakh River, in the Yana-Kolyma lowland, near 72°N. And the other one, he dug out on the New Siberian Island of Great Lyakhov, near 73.5°N. How large are the tusks of the woolly mammoth, preserved in Siberia’s frozen ground? And how many tusks does one find there each summer?
E. W. Pfizenmayer: "The tusks reached a length of 4, and even 4.5 meters, and a weight of up to 200, and even 250 kilograms per pair. The largest pair of tusks, belonging together, known to me, is kept in the museum. A trader Gromov brought them from the Kolyma. There they were found, while ‘both were still sticking in the skull’. Each tooth had a curve-length of over 4 meters (the right one exactly 4.16 meters), and they weighed together 160 kilograms." (1926:238).
"Yakutsk is, as already mentioned, the main market. During the years from 1825 to 1831, each year between 1,500 to 2,000 pud (at 16 kilograms per pud) (24,570 to 32,760 kg) mammoth ivory is said to have been sold. A single Yakut brought in in the year 1821 about 500 pud (8,190 kg) from the New Siberian Islands. Middendorff, who has traveled during the forties years of the nineteenth century through northern Siberia, estimates that an average 120,000 pounds (= 60,000 kg) have been exported each year from Siberia.
"One of the greatest traders of Yakutsk, I. F. Sannikov, had trading posts in Ustyansk at the Yana delta, and in Bulun, at the lower course of the Lena. He told me in 1908 in Bulun that he was transporting in this year 600 pud (9,829 kg) and the other traders also about 1,000 pud (16,380 kg) ivory to Yakutsk onto the market there. ... Since the mammoth tusks, gathered in the uttermost northeast by the Chukchies, Yakugirs, and Lamuts are bought up by American traders, and the yield from the district of Okhotsk is sold mainly to the Japanese, one would sooner be calculating too low, than too high, when my informant Sannikov estimates that the total annual yield of fossil ivory in Siberia’s Northeast is 2,000 pud, namely 32,000 kilograms." - Pfizenmayer, E. W.(1926:238, 256).
The settlement of Bulun lies at the lower Lena River, about 260 km from the Lena Delta, where Adams’ mammoth bull was found in the frozen ground. E. W. Pfizenmayer noted in 1908, when returning from his second expedition, while briefly staying in Bulun: "At the bank (of the Lena River at Bulun) the traders had stacked up already mammoth ivory, which they had found this year. It weighed, I was told, over 1,200 pud (19,200 kilograms). It was shipped then by steam-boat to Yakutsk." (1926:304).
How many Mammoths?
How many woolly mammoths does all of this ivory in NE Siberia represent? What does it tell us about the size of the herds of the woolly mammoths, which have lived up there? – According to Professor N. K. Vereshchagin (1974), the average mammoth tusks in NE Siberia – of small and large animals, of males and females -, is 30 kg per tusk. Each mammoth has two tusks. From how many woolly mammoths has this ivory then come, collected each summer in NE Siberia, when using the figures, given by E. W. Pfizenmayer (1926)? What will that show us about the density of the mammoth population in northern Siberia and about its climate?
Pfizenmayer reports that in 1821 one Yakut came from the New Siberian Islands with 8,190 kg of mammoth ivory. At 30 kg per tusk, that is then 273 tusks of 136 mammoths. From 1825 to 1831, 24,570 to 32,760 kg of mammoth ivory was sold each year in Yakutsk. That is the tusks of 409 to 546 mammoths per year, at 30 kg per tusk.
F. Sannikov had trading posts in Bulun and Ustyansk. He was transporting in 1908 himself 9,828 kg, and the other traders 16,380 kg of mammoth ivory to the market of Yakutsk. Altogether, that is then the tusks of 437 woolly mammoths, at 30 kg per tusks, during just this one year! The trader Sannikov estimates that altogether 32,000 kg mammoth ivory is found and sold each year in northeastern Siberia. That is the tusks of 533 woolly mammoths, at 30 kg per tusk.
The settlement of Bulun lies at the lower course of the Lena River, about 260 km south of the Lena Delta. There they have found Adams’ mammoth bull, while standing upright in the frozen ground. E. W. Pfizenmayer came back in the year 1908 from his second expedition. While staying briefly in Bulun, he noticed. “At the bank (of the Lena River at Bulun) the traders had already piled up the mammoth ivory, which they had found during the summer of 1908. It weighed, as they told me, more than 1,200 Pud (19,200 kilogram). They then sent these tusks to Yakutsk.” (1926:304). At 30 kg per tusk, that are 640 tusks : 2 = 320 woolly mammoths.
According to Middendorff, during the 1840ies, about 32,000 kg of mammoth ivory was exported each year from the whole area of northern Siberia. That is the ivory of 533 large and small mammoths. The geological setting and the state of preservation of these mammoths tusks do show me: Most, if not all of these tusks have come from animals, which have died suddenly, catastrophically, during the global Flood of Noah’s days in 2370 B.C.E. They do indicate a high elephant density, and a mild temperate climate, without ice and snow!
The body of the Berezovka mammoth was well preserved. Its flesh looked just like fresh frozen beef and horsemeat, as long as it was frozen. – Why? Why has the body of this elephant not rotted away? Why has it not fallen into dust within a few months or years? Also in the Far North, the bodies of very few animals are now preserved.
The American zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson wrote in his article "Riddle of the frozen giants" (1960:82) about the Berezovka mammoth: "Freezing meat is not quite so simple a process as one might think. It will jell once you drop the temperature below freezing, and it will then theoretically remain forever, provided its contained moisture does not melt. So also will a whole corpse. However, the frozen-food technicians have discovered two vital facts. The first is that simply freezing meat is not sufficient, because it loses its flavor and finally becomes unfit for human consumption after a time if only just frozen.
"To preserve it properly, temperatures of minus-twenty degrees Fahrenheit (-28.9°C) or lower are needed. The second and most important is that to preserve it at all it must be frozen very rapidly, and the faster the better. The slower the job is done, the larger are the crystals that form in the water and other liquids contained in its cells; the faster the process, the smaller they are. Above a certain size, these crystals burst the cells. The meat then becomes dehydrated on being unfrozen, and loses all its flavor.
"The flesh of many of the animals found in the muck must have been very rapidly and deeply frozen, for the cells were not burst and, although one mammoth has been found by a radiocarbon dating method to be just over 10,000 years old, the flesh of these animals was remarkably fresh and some was devoured by the explorer’s sledge dogs.
"At minus-forty degrees Fahrenheit (-40°C), it takes twenty minutes to quick-freeze a dead turkey and only thirty to preserve a whole side of beef. But these are mere bits of meat, not live animals clothed in fur and containing blood, internal organs and food, at a living temperature of about ninety-eight degrees (36.7°C).
"The problem is to extract all the heat from the whole beast, but this can only be done from the outside and by working inward. Unless we have tremendous cold outside, the center of the animal – and notably its stomach – will remain comparatively warm for some time, probably long enough for decomposition to start in its contents, while the actual chilling of the flesh will be slow enough for large crystals to form within its cells. Neither event occurred with the mammoths.
"It now transpires, from several studies, that mammoths, though covered in a thick underwool and a long overcoat – and in some cases having quite a layer of fat – were not specially designed for arctic conditions; a little further consideration will make it plain that they did not live in such conditions. That they did not live perpetually or even all year round on the arctic tundra is really very obvious. First, the average Indian elephant, which is a close relative of the mammoth and just about the same size, has to have several hundred pounds of food daily just to survive. For more than six months of the year, there is nothing for any such creature to eat on the tundra, and yet there were tens of thousands of mammoths.
"Further, not one trace of pine needles or of the leaves of any other trees were in the stomach of the Berezovka mammoth; little flowering buttercups, tender sedges and grasses were found exclusively. Buttercups will not even grow at forty degrees (4.4°C), and they cannot flower in the absence of sunlight. A detailed analysis of the contents of the Berezovka mammoth’s stomach brought to light a long list of plants, some of which still grow in the arctic, but are actually much more typical of Southern Siberia today. Therefore, the mammoths either made annual migrations north for the short summer, or the part of the earth where their corpses are found today was somewhere else in warmer latitudes at the time of their death, or both." - Sanderson, I. T. 1960: 82, 83).
"Here is a really shocking – to our previous way of thinking – picture. Vast herds of enormous, well-fed beasts not especially designed for extreme cold, placidly feeding in sunny pastures, delicately plucking flowering buttercups at a temperature in which we would probably not even have needed a coat. Suddenly they were all killed without any visible sign of violence and before they could so much as swallow a last mouthful of food, and then were quick-frozen so rapidly that every cell of their bodies is perfectly preserved, despite their great bulk and their high temperature. What, we may well ask, could possibly do this?
"Now, volcanoes, when in eruption, not only spew out lava and hurl out rocks but also eject masses of dust particles, steam and other gases. Some of the dust may be shot into the upper atmosphere and then drift all around the earth. ... A sudden mass of extrusion of dust and gases would cause the formation of monstrous amounts of rain and snow, and it might even be so heavy as to cut out sunlight altogether for days, weeks, months, or even years if the crustal movements continued. Wind beyond anything known today would be whipped up, and cold fronts of vast lengths would build up with violent extremes of temperature on either side. Here would be forty days and nights of snow in one place, continent-wide floods in another, and roaring hurricanes, seaquakes and earthquakes bringing landslides and tidal waves in others, and many other disturbances. But perhaps more important may have been the gases which would probably have been shot up highest of all. What would have happened to them?
"And there is where we get back to quick-freezing mammoths, for the frozen-food experts have pointed out that to do this, starting with a healthy live specimen, you would have to drop the temperature of the air surrounding it down to a point of well below minus-150 degrees Fahrenheit (-101.1°C). There are two ways of freezing rapidly – one is by the blast method, the other by the mist process; these terms explain themselves. Moreover, the colder air or any gases become, the heavier it gets. If the volcanic gases went up far enough they would be violently chilled by the ‘cold of space,’ as it is called, and then as they spiraled toward the poles, as all the atmosphere in time does, they would begin to descend.
"When they came upon a warm layer of air, they would weigh heavily upon it and pull all the heat out of it and then would eventually fall through it, probably with increasing momentum and perhaps in great blobs, pouring down through the weakest spots. And if they did this, the blob would displace the air already there, outward in all directions and with the utmost violence. Such descending gases might well be cold enough to kill and then instantly freeze a mammoth." - Sanderson, I. T. (1960:83).
"Consider now our poor mammoth placidly munching away in his meadow, perhaps even under a warm sun. The sky need not been clouded over, and here need not even be a dust of haze where he is living, which would appear to have been then about where Central Asia is today. All of a sudden, in a matter of minutes, the air begins to move in that peculiar way one may experience today at the end of the arctic summer when the first cold front descends and the temperature may drop sixty degrees (15.5°C) in an hour.
"All the mammoths feels is a sudden violent tingling all over his skin and a searing pain in his lungs; the air seems suddenly to have turned to fire. He takes a few breaths and expires, his lungs, throat, eyeballs, ears and outer skin already crystallized. If he is near the center of the blob, the terrible mist envelops him, and in a few hours he is a standing monument of what is virtually rock. Nor need there be any violence until the snow comes softly to pile up on him and bury him. And here we leave him for a moment and turn to his distant cousin chewing away in Alaska, just outside the area where the blob descends. What happens to him?
"The sky here probably does cloud over, and it may even start to snow, something he has not before encountered in September, when he is in the north on his summer migration. He starts to pad off for cover. But then comes a wind that rapidly grows and grows in fury and explodes into something unimaginable. He is lifted off his feet and, along with bison, lion, beaver from ponds, and fish from rivers, is hurled against trees and rocks, torn literally to bits and then bowled along to be finally flung into a seething caldron of water, mud, shattered trees, boulders, mangled grass and shrubbery and bits of his fellows and of other animals. Then comes the cold that freezes the whole lot, and finally, when the holocaust is over, the snow covers it all.
"This is exactly the state of affairs that we find in Alaska, where the mammoths and other animals, with one or two significant exceptions, were all literally torn to pieces while still fresh. Young and old alike were cast about, mangled and then frozen. There are also, however, other areas where the animals are mangled, but had time to decompose before they froze; and still others where they decomposed down to the bones and were then either frozen or not. Beyond these again, there are similar vast masses of animals, including whole families or herds, all piled together into gullies and riverbeds and other holes, but where only bones remain." - Sanderson, I. T. (1960:83).
"Here may be the answer to our riddle of why we find mammoths with buttercups in their teeth in one place, shredded but still-edible mammoths in another, rotting mammoths in a third, and mammoth boneyards somewhere else. The animals were frozen whole where the blobs of cold air descended before the wind began, shredded and frozen where the winds came before the cold had spread out, and reduced to bones where the animals had time to decompose before the cold reached them or the moving crust (of the earth) carried them north.
"The remains, if still sticking out of the ground where the middle of the blob occurred, would have been safely sealed in when the snow came, as the Berezovka mammoth probably was. This would seem to be additional proof, for a true ice-cap never formed in Siberia, because the crust was still shifting. There is evidence that one once started to grow there, but that it soon died away, and as it did so, vast floods of melt water brought great quantities of silt down from the south – which is the direction the rivers flow in Siberia – and deposited it upon the compacted snow. This froze in the fall, but melted in the spring, and since a dark material absorbs more heat, it gradually, year by year, dissolved the snow below and descended upon and eventually enveloped the quick-frozen mammoth by the slow substitution of chilled silt for compacted snow." - Sanderson, I. T. (1960:83).
How trustworthy is the deep temperature, needed to quick-freeze the Berezovka mammoth? – Dr. J. Dillow comments on this: "The Birds Eye Corporation seems to have been asked by Reader’s Digest, to investigate the trustworthiness of an article, which this journal wanted to publish in the year 1960 about the catastrophic freezing of the mammoths. The refrigeration experts of Birds Eye, who had studied the mammoth tissue, were convinced, that the animals had suddenly ‘been thrown into a refrigerator’, whose temperature must have been below –150°F (-101°C). The Birds Eye engineer Ivor Morgan has done in February 1960 these calculations about the mammoth. He found out, how fast the cold will go into an 8 feet (2.43 m) long cylinder, having a diameter of five feet (1.52 m), corresponding to the size of the mammoth’s body.
"The computer calculation of the Birds Eye experts was: ‘Temperatures of far below –150°F (-101°C) were needed, in order to lower the temperature of the stomach contents within 10 hours, which botanists and physiologists do presuppose for digestion, to 40°F (4.4°C).’ ... this temperature of –150°F (-101°C) also Ivan Sanderson has published. Sanderson had claimed in his report, the refrigeration experts had concluded that the investigated (Berezovka)-mammoth had been frozen at a temperature of under –150°F (-101°C)."
Dr. J. Dillow concludes from this: "The animal has grazed in summer, near the end of July, butter-cups, and only half an hour, after it had eaten this food, it was overwhelmed by a temperature, which lay under –150°F (-101°C). Very soon after that, it has died and was frozen in the middle of summer." (1977:9-12).
-101C: How possible?
Someone may object now and say: A low temperature of –101°C does not even exist now: neither in northeastern Siberia nor in Antarctica. So, how can there have been such a deep cold in the Far North?
The answer: Through the wind. Through the wind-chill effect. This means: the faster the wind is blowing, and the lower the temperature of the air, the more heat it will take out of the body. If above calculation is correct, no air temperature of –101°C was needed, to quick-freeze the Berezovka mammoth. One only needed then a wind-chill effect of –101°C.
According to the wind-chill chart, published by the Arctic Aero-medical Laboratory in Fort Wainright, Alaska, a cooling effect of –150°F (-101°C) will arise, when at –70°F (-43.7°C) the wind is blowing at 40 miles (64.3 km) per hour. In other words: The wind, blowing at –43.7°C at a speed of 64 km per hour, will remove then just as much heat from the body, as an air temperature of –101°C will, when there is no wind. Exposed flesh may freeze already within 30 seconds at –8.3°C, when the wind is blowing at 64.3 km/h.
To achieve a wind-chill effect of –115°C, one needs an air temperature of 65°C and a wind, blowing at 64 km/h. The deepest temperature, measured near Verkhoyansk, in NE Siberia, was –67.7°C. And at the research station Vostock, on Antarctica, -87.5°C.
The mammoth transport arrives in Kolymsk. They have tied the re-frozen parts of the Berezovka mammoth onto the sleighs. Yakutian horses are pulling here now the sleighs. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
What has the Berezovka mammoth bull eaten, shortly before he died? Which kinds of plants were found in his mouth and stomach? Where are these plants growing now? What kind of a climate do they indicate?
Professor B. A. Tikhomirov, Botanical Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, in St. Petersburg writes about the stomach contents of the Berezovka mammoth: "V. N. Sukachev ... positively identified the following species of vascular plants, met with in the contents of the stomach: Alopecurus alpinus Sm., Agropyrum cristatum (L.) Bess., Beckmannia eruciformis (L.) Host., Hordeum violaceum Boiss et Heut. And Carex lagopina Wahlb. The following species were also noted by him in small quantities: Ranunculus acris L., Oxitropis sordida (Wahlb.) Trautv., together with the remains of some other plants, which he was unable to place exactly according to species or even genus owing to poor preservation...
"‘We must suppose’ writes V. N. Sukachev, ‘that the mammoth pastured in a meadow, where there were low places with Beckmannia eruciformis (L.), Host, Hypnum fluitans (Dill.) L. and higher places, sufficiently dry, where Agropyrum acris would be found among thickets of Alopecurus alpinus Sm., Hordeum violaceum Boiss. Et Heut. and Carex lagopina Wahlenb. in places of average moisture.’ (1914:16).
"If we take into account the finding of parts of arboreous species in the strata where the mammoth was found (Larix sp., Betula alba s.l., Alnus sp.), then there can be little doubt that at the time of his death, the Berezovka mammoth dwelt in a wooded zone." (1958:170-174).
"Many of the species whose pollen or macroscopic remains were discovered in the food of the mammoth (Pinus sibirica, Caragana jubata, Hordeum brevisubulatum, species of the genera Atriplex, Agropyrum cristatum, Gnaphalium uliginosum, Alnus hirsuta s.l., Phragmites communis, Plantago media, Artemisia dracunculus s.l., Angelica archangelica, Beckmannia syzigachne etc.), at the present time have a more southern and western range than at the place where the mammoth was discovered. This is indicative of the basic changes in the climate towards lower temperatures since the time of the mammoth’s death. ...
"The considerable number of immature pollen grains of grasses attracts attention. Of the total number of 7,966 grains about 3,000 (38.8%) were immature. In addition, a very large number of pollen masses that have not separated were noted, consisting of immature grass pollen suggests that the mammoth had died at the beginning of summer. However, V. N. Sukachev (1914), basing his conclusions on the presence in the vegetable remains of the fruits of grasses and carices as well as representatives of other families, thought that the mammoth had died during the second half of summer. ...
"Sukachev (1914) stated that the Berezovka mammoth perished in late July-early August when heads of sedges had ripened but had not shed their grains yet, and ripened fruits of Beckmannia eruciformis and Hordeum violaceum had not fallen, but many plants were still in blossom (Kupriyanova, 1957)." - Tikhomirov, B. A. (1958:151, 174).
Where now growing?
When the mammoth was grazing in northeastern Siberia, animals adapted to zonal steppe and forest-steppe, like the steppe-bison and the steppe-horse (of the Mongolian type), were also living on zonal steppe and forest-steppe at the shores of the Arctic Sea. And animals, living now only in the Far North, were flourishing then also in southern Siberia and southern Europe. Eurasia’s and North America’s climate and plant-cover were then entirely different from that of today. The arctic tundra, forest-tundra, and taiga are new. They have not been there yet, when the woolly mammoth was grazing up there. The arctic tundra, forest-tundra, and taiga have arisen in the Holocene. – Let’s look briefly at three species of plants, identified in the stomach contents of the Berezovka mammoth:
Agropyrum cristatum. This sweet grass is not growing now at the Berezovka River. According to Prof. B. A. Tikhomirov (1958:174) it is growing now further south and west of the place, where the mammoth was found. Today, one finds this grass about 600 km southwest from the place, where the Berezovka mammoth was discovered (in a small extrazonal range). The nearest continuous, zonal range, where Agropyrum cristatum is growing now, lies at the Lena River, some 1,300 km southwest of the Berezovka.
This sweet grass is growing now in the coniferous forest of the cold Temperate Zone, in the forest-steppe, and in the half-deserts, down to northern Kazakhstan, and in the feather-grass steppe of southern Siberia, and in Mongolia’s steppe. Walter, H. (1974).
According to A. A. Case, a botanist of the University for animal medicine at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Miss., this plant is similar to the wheat-grass on the Great Plains of North America. Quoted by J. Dillow (1977:7).
Hordeum violaceum. Scientists at the Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg told me, that Hordeum violaceum is not growing now in the Arctic. This barley plant one finds now between the Caucasus and the Black Sea, about 6,300 km southwest from the Berezovka. That is about as far away, as London (in England) is away from Baltimore (in the USA). Hordeum violaceum is growing now mainly in Iran and Armenia-Kurdistan. Meusel, H. (1965:43).
Hordeum brevisubulatum, a related barley plant, is growing now about 890 km southwest of the Berezovka. In China, this barley plant is spreading into the Subtropics. Meusel, H. (1965:43).
Dr. E. Götz, at the Botanical Institute of the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, wrote to me on July 29th, 1976: Hordeum brevisubulatum is synonym with Hordeum secalinum Schreb. This species is common in the coastal areas, otherwise it is rare. It is growing on meadows, likes salt, and goes up to about 1,000 m. It is found on the Iberian Peninsula, Corsica, Sicily, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thrakia, Crimea, S. Russia till Saratov and Ufa. SW-Asia till Kashmir; N. Africa, temperate N- and S-America.
Prof. B. A. Tikhomirov (1958) is right, when he says: "This is indicative of the basic changes in the climate towards lower temperatures since the time of the mammoth’s death." In other words: The plant-remains, found in the mouth and stomach of the Berezovka mammoth bull, do show us this: When the mammoth was grazing in northeastern Siberia, it was living up there in a milder, warmer climate. Since then, it has become there colder.
Just like the Reindeer and the Muskox
A few advocates of today’s ice age theory still do claim earnestly that the woolly mammoth has grazed in the arctic tundra, tundra-steppe and polar desert, just like the reindeer and the muskox of today. – Is that true? - First of all, they seem to forget here that no arctic tundra and forest-tundra was growing then yet in the Far North. They arose at the beginning of the Holocene. Would the Berezovka mammoth then have been able to live now in the Far North, just like the reindeer and the muskox of today?
The Berezovka mammoth was a young, but fully grown male. His shoulder height was about 2.60 m. According to my shoulder-height-body-weight scale for elephants, he weighed about 2,850 kg. He needed 1,259 g digestible crude protein and 56,169 kcal metabolizable energy per day, to maintain his body weight.
The 220-kg adult muskox needs 152 g DCP and 5,998 kcal ME per day for maintenance. The 80-kg adult reindeer/caribou needs77 g DCP and 6,072 kcal ME per day, to maintain its body weight.
The Berezovka mammoth bull had to graze on the arctic tundra then as fast as a herd of 8.28 muskoxen, to take in enough digestible crude protein per day, and as much as a herd of 9.36 muskoxen, to take in enough metabolizable energy per day, to maintain its body weight.
The Berezovka mammoth bull would have to graze on the arctic tundra then as fast as a herd of 16.35 reindeer, to take in enough digestible crude protein, and as much as 9.25 reindeer, to take in enough metabolizable energy. In the arctic tundra, tundra-steppe, and polar desert this is not possible, because too little food is growing there. Many of the plants, growing now in the Far North are poisonous to mammals. They cannot eat them. The mammoth was not able to live in an arctic climate, just like the reindeer and the muskox of today. The tusker would have starved up there to death, due to lack of protein and energy, within a few weeks or months. And he would also have thirsted to death up there in winter.
Eating Snow in Winter
Supporters of today’s ice-age hypothesis say: The woolly mammoth was adapted to a severe arctic climate. – It this were so, we must ask ourselves: How has this elephant found then during the long arctic winter enough to drink, when rivers, ponds, and lakes were deeply frozen? – The ice-age supporter will ask back then: And how does the reindeer find now enough to drink in winter? – By eating now!. Thus, also the mammoth must have eaten snow in winter, to get enough drinking water!
Is that true? Would the Berezovka mammoth, for example, have found enough to drink in winter, by eating snow? We shall investigate here briefly three examples.
Example 1. The young mammoth bull at the Berezovka River weighs 2,850 kg. He takes in here 3% of his body weight of drinking water per day, when eating dry food (hay). The air temperature is normal: He neither feels too cold nor too hot. He is grazing 9 hours per day. And he is eating snow 9 hours per day. He is eating powdery snow, containing 50 kg/m³ of water. He is able to take in 300 cm³ of this snow per minute. He will thirst to death, when he has reached his critical water-intake-deficit of 51% of his body weight. – The Berezovka mammoth bull, living in the Far North, will then thirst to death after18.8 days.
Example 2. The Berezovka mammoth is eating now snow, while under cold-stress, while the air temperature is –18°C. He is grazing 14 h/day, and he is eating snow 5 h/day. The horse needs 2 l water/1 kg dry feed at –18°C (NRC 1989). The nutritional needs of horse and elephant are very similar. The elephant will need now only 2 l water/1 kg dry feed. He is eating powdery snow, containing 50 kg/m³ water. He is able to take in 300 cm³/min. snow. He will thirst to death, when reaching his water-intake-deficit of 51% of his body weight. – The Berezovka mammoth will thirst then to death within 20.3 days.
Example 3. The Berezovka mammoth is eating now pressed snow, containing 100 kg/m³, at an air temperature of –18°C, while under cold-stress. The elephant will need then 2 l water/1 kg dry feed. He is able to take in 300 cm³/min. snow. He is grazing now 15 h/day. And he is eating snow 5 h/day. – The Berezovka mammoth will then thirst to death after 21.7 days. – This clearly shows me: The mammoth was not adapted to an arctic climate. He was not able to live in ice and snow, just like the reindeer and the muskox of today.
Fell into Ice-Hole
Paleontologist E. W. Pfizenmayer (1926) believed that the Berezovka mammoth has fallen into a hole in the fossil ice. While falling into this hole in the ice, he broke several bones, and then died. – Is that reasonable? Does that agree with the scientific facts, known now?
The Berezovka mammoth bull has died suddenly, catastrophically, while grazing blooming buttercups and other flowers on a lush meadow in the forest-zone (and not on an arctic tundra or polar desert). The arctic tundra, forest-tundra, and taiga, as we know them now, did not exist yet, when this tusker was grazing up there. The mammoth is not able to live in an arctic climate, because there is too little to eat. And in winter it would hunger and thirst there to death within a few days or weeks. There were then no ice-holes, into which this elephant could have fallen. The Berezovka mammoth has not died at the place, where it was found. He has drifted onto the ice and into the crevasse in the ice, when he was already dead and frozen stiff. The place, where the Berezovka mammoth was found, is secondary, not primary. This “falling into the ice-hole story” is facing still another serious problem. It has to do with the chemical condition of the fat of the Berezovka mammoth.
Fat changed chemically
Professor B. A. Tikhomirov (1958:185) states about the woolly mammoth of northern Siberia: "Nikitin (1939): their carcasses and skeletons lay in areas flooded over with cold water, and were subsequently preserved when the level of the permafrost rose. In particular Shestakov, investigating the fat from three mammoth carcasses (the Berezovka, the Lyakhov, and the Sangayurakh), concluded that ‘the fat of all three mammoths underwent some decomposition after death which proceeded along exactly the same lines in all three cases. It was due to the action on the fat of moisture in the absence of other influences such as light, air and microorganisms’ (1914).
"Later he added that such changes in the fat ‘could occur only if the carcasses at the time of death were lying in very wet surroundings at a relatively low temperature, and if they did not remain for long on the surface.’" - The Sangayurakh mammoth in the Yana-Kolyma lowland, near 72°N, and the Lyakhov mammoth on Great Lyakhov Island (New Siberian Islands) near 73.5°N, were recovered by E. W. Pfizenmayer in 1908. The Berezovka mammoth was found at the Berezovka River, near 68°N. It is an eastern tributary of the Kolyma River. He dug it out in the year 1901.
Also the remains of a cow-herd of woolly mammoths was found at the Berelekh River, west of the Indigirka Delta, near 71°N. It consisted of about 140 animals. Their remains have lain for some time in anaerobic, sweet, silty water. Also the mammoth bull from the Shandrin River, east of the Indigirka Delta, near 71°N, has lain in anaerobic, silty water. The surface of his bones, the ribs in particular, was colored dark blue by vivianite, indicating burial in the anaerobic conditions of silty deposits in fresh water (Vereshchagin 1974).
Also in northwestern Siberia, the woolly mammoth has lain in silty water. It was found at the Uribey River, on Gydan Peninsula, near 70°N. I. Dubrovo (1990:4, 5) reported about it: In 1979 a nearly complete skeleton of a young mammoth with partly preserved soft parts and hair was discovered in the alluvial sediments in the valley of the Yuribei River in western Siberia, Gydan Peninsula. The mammoth, apparently a female, died when it was 10 to 12 years old. The carcass originally was in cold water, where muscles and fat were chemically transformed. Very soon, the cadaver was covered with sediments in the zone of permafrost. Radiocarbon date 9600 and 9730 B.P. -
What does that show us? – This shows me: The woolly mammoths, preserved completely or partly in the flesh -, from NW Siberia all the way to NE Siberia, have lived there at the same time. And they have all died and were buried at the same time and through the same cause. They were killed in a global catastrophe, in the Flood of Noah’s days, in the year 2370 B.C.E, according to Bible chronology.
The sleigh-transport, with the frozen remains of the Berezovka mammoth, crossing a lake in the Tas-haiachtach Mountain Range, northeastern Siberia. That is, over the ice of this lake. It is covered there with a thin layer of water. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer, Mammutleichen und Urwaldmenschen (1926)
Berezovka Mammoth: How he lived, how he perished
When has the Berezovka mammoth bull lived, and in what kind of a climate? When has he died? Why has he perished? – The scientific facts, known now and the Biblical eyewitness account about the Flood of Noah’s days do cause me to conclude this:
The young Berezovka mammoth bull has lived in northeastern Siberia till the year 2370 B.C.E. He was grazing then buttercups and other blooming flowers and grasses in a lush meadow in a forest-steppe. Some of the plants were then still blooming. Some were already ripe. Herds of woolly mammoths, steppe-bison, and steppe horses were grazing there on a zonal forest-steppe. The climate was temperate, mild, without an arctic winter, without permafrost, without ice and snow. The growing season of the plants was very long. The food was so soft and nourishing, that the mammoths were able to reach an old, ripe age. They were still able to live in the uttermost north of northeastern Siberia and in Alaska, when they had lost already their last set of molars. The holes, wherein their chewing teeth (molars) had sat, were filled out then with bony growth.
When picking up the buttercups and other blooming flowers and grasses with his trunk, a blast of deep arctic cold suddenly hit the young elephant. He did not even have time, to swallow the food, he was chewing. It began to rain 40 days and 40 nights. A global catastrophe suddenly hit the whole earth: The Flood of Noah’s days, at the beginning of November 2370 B.C.E. (4365 years ago, when calculated in the year 1995 B.C.E.). The icy storm and the waves of the Flood hit the Berezovka mammoth, while standing on the meadow. They broke some of his bones.
He went down onto his belly, stretching his legs out in front. While lying down on his belly, he then quickly froze in the deep arctic cold. He froze so quickly that the cells in his body did not have time to burst, due to slow freezing. Because when freezing slowly, large crystals will grow in the cell, bursting it. He froze so quickly, that the food in his stomach did not have time to decompose. No blow-flies were able to lay their eggs into his body. He had put on a layer of fat beneath his skin, up to 9 cm thick. Thus he must have died in late autumn, not in summer.
The water of the Flood covered the whole earth, drowning all the animals on the dry land, outside of Noah’s ark. In the Far North, many of them must have been killed within seconds by the deep arctic cold, suddenly hitting northern Siberia. And in some northern parts, some of the rain of this Flood must have come down as snow. This snow was piling up into the inland ice-sheets, several kilometers deep. Further south from the Polar Regions, water was covering the globe, several kilometers deep. It was also covering the peaks of the highest mountains.
At first, the frozen body of the Berezovka mammoth, overwhelmed by the waters of the Flood, sank down to the bottom. The enzymes and micro-flora in his digestive tract, however, still kept on producing gases. These gases bloated the body of the elephant, causing it to rise to the surface of the waters of the Flood, covering the whole earth. During the following months of the first arctic winter, 2370/2369 B.C.E., also the innermost parts of his body were thoroughly frozen.
Then the continents began to rise, and the basins of the oceans to sink. The water of the Flood was receding again from the continents, flowing into the basins of the oceans (Psalm 104:5-9). The water of the flood had also whirled up particles of loam, silt, sand, gravel, plants, and the bodies of animals, which were drowned in the Flood. They were suspended in the water or where floating at the surface. When the water was draining off from the continents, when the water began to quiet down again, they began to sink down to the bottom. The water of the Flood laid down a mantle of loam, silt, sand, and gravel, covering many parts of northeastern Siberia, several meters deep in some places.
Also the frozen body of the Berezovka mammoth was sinking down now, as the water was flowing off from the continent. He sank down onto the eastern slope of a small mountain, at the western side of the valley of the Berezovka River. The frozen body of the Berezovka mammoth sank into this thick mantle of watery silt. During the next severe arctic winter, the whole mantle of silt, covering now many parts of northeastern Siberia, then froze.
Further down, below the slope, (where the frozen body of the mammoth was buried in the mantle of silt), in the valley of the Berezovka River, it was now so cold during the long arctic winter that the river froze right down to the bottom. The river, coming from the south, was flowing here into a wide valley. It divided itself here into several channels. Normally, the water of the river is flowing in winter beneath its ice-cover, also in the Far North. But if the riverbed is very wide, if the river’s water is flowing then in several channels, the river might freeze in winter down to the bottom, when it is very cold.
Then the water must flow on top of the ice, covering it with a thin film of water. This thin film of water, flowing in winter over the ice, is freezing then into a thin layer of ice. So, day by day, and month by month, throughout the long arctic winter, more and more thin horizontal layers of ice are covering the valley. At the end of the winter, the whole valley is filled then with this auf-ice, glittering in the sun like a mirror.
Shortly after the Flood of Noah’s days, the winter has been so long and so cold, and the summer so short and cold, that the auf-ice on the Berezovka River either did not melt away again at all in summer (or only a little). Year after year, the layer of ice became thicker. During the next years, this sea of ice was filling then the Berezovka River to a depth of 50 meters. - In winter, the deep frost was causing the ground, to break open at the surface. Into these frost-cracks, rain- and melt-water was flowing in spring. From these frost-cracks in the ground, the large ice-wedges then began to grow, getting bigger and bigger, as time went by.
Then it became warmer again. In summer, the auf-ice in the valley of the Berezovka began to melt at the surface. It began to crack, to break apart. Some of these crevasses in the ice went right down to the bottom of the river. So, in many places, the ice was broken up to a depth of 50 meters. Water from the melting snow in spring, and the rain in summer were gnawing themselves into the surface of this auf-ice. The water, falling in summer into these crevasses, was flowing then beneath the thick ice-cover, over the bed of the river, toward the Arctic Sea. In many places, the water, falling down into the crevasses in summer, was cutting large vertical holes into the 50-meter thick ice. These holes in the ice have the shape of a vertical cylinder. Some of these vertical, round holes in the ice went right down to the riverbed.
Further uphill, on the ridges and slopes, the warmth of the summer was also melting now the surface of the mantle of loam, silt, and sand, laid down during the global Flood of 2370/2369 B.C.E. Most of the ground was then still bare. That is: the plants have had then no time yet, to spread out, covering the bare frozen ground with a mantle of plants. This layer of mud was soaked with water, when it began to freeze right after the Flood. Now it was melting again, at first on the surface. And this thick soup of silt, mixed with melt-water and rainwater, began to flow down the slope, like a stream of lava. It was flowing into the valley, onto the 50-meter thick auf-ice, with its many crevasses and holes. The stream of mud was flowing from the slope onto the ice. It was also flowing there into the crevasses and vertical, round holes.
In spring, when the snow was melting, and in summer, when it had rained (when the mud was still frozen), clear water was flowing into the vertical holes and crevasses in the auf-ice. Deep down, beneath the surface, the 50-meter thick auf-ice still stayed frozen, also in summer. The water was flowing down into the holes to the bottom. At the bottom of this hole, the clear water was spreading out into a thin layer. This thin layer of clear water then froze into a thin layer of clear ice. When it was still warmer, also the mud was melting. It was also flowing now into the vertical holes in the auf-ice. It was forming then a thin, horizontal layer of frozen mud. One thin, horizontal layer of clear ice was alternating with one thin, horizontal layer of frozen mud, till the hole was filled up right to the top.
With this mud, flowing like a stream of lava from the nearby slope, also the frozen body of the Berezovka mammoth was carried down into the valley, onto the 50-meters thick layer of auf-ice. The stream of mud, mixed with melt-water and rainwater, then swept the frozen carcass of this elephant into one of the crevasses or holes, near the surface of this auf-ice. More and more mud kept on flowing down from the slope, till the body of the frozen mammoth was covered with mud, till the whole crevasse was filled up to the top. The Berezovka mammoth lay in a crevasse of the ice, close to the slope. So, also pieces of rock were drifting there into the crevasses.
Then it became very cold again. The mud, covering the carcass of the frozen mammoth in the crevasse of the auf-ice, then all froze. It became as hard as rock. On top of this layer of frozen mud, covering the auf-ice, plants of the new forest-tundra, with its larch trees, began to grow. These trees are growing right on top of the frozen ice and frozen ground, in the thin layer of earth, covering them. Only this thin layer of earth on top of the ice and frozen ground is melting during the short arctic summer. And the ice, the mud, and the mammoth in it, stayed frozen (most of the time), for more than 4,000 year, until our time.
The new channel of the Berezovka River then cut itself more and more into the 50-meters thick layer of auf-ice, filling out there the whole valley. Also the summer heat was melting the ice-cliffs away, as the years went by. In August 1900, a Lamut (Old Siberian native) was hunting there, following the track of a moose. His hunting dog (laika) smelled the carcass, and led him to it. The ice-cliff (the remaining part of the old auf-ice, over 50 meters deep) had melted away till it came to the place, where the frozen Berezovka mammoth lay in the earth-filled crevasse of this old auf-ice. Still enclosed by the frozen earth, the frozen elephant then fell out of the crevasse of the old auf-ice, onto the cutbank of the Berezovka River, together with the trunks of larch trees, growing now on top of the frozen ground.
The re-constructed Berezovka mammoth, on display in St. Petersburg. From: E. W. Pfizenmayer (1926). It was a young, but fully grown bull, with a shoulder-height of about 2.60 m. He weighed about 2850 kg. As long, as the carcass was frozen, its flesh looked like frozen beef and horse-meat, and the dogs ate it. Beneath the 2 cm thick skin was a layer of fat, up to 9 cm thick. So it has not starved to death. The one upper arm was broken in the middle.
The cells of the body of the Berezovka mammoth were so well preserved that it must have been quick-frozen, when it died. The American biologist Ivan T. Sanderson and American frozen-food experts concluded, that the Berezovka mammoth must have been quick-frozen at well below –150°F (-101.1°C). This air temperature (without any wind) can also be achieved by only –43.7°C and wind at 64.3 km/h.
The dead elephant does not usually sit upright on its belly. During the great drought of 1970-71 in Tsavo-East National Park, in Kenya, East Africa, about 5900 elephants starved to death with a full stomach. All of the animals, which they found there, lay on their side (M. Coe, 1979:76, 77). Thus, the Berezovka mammoth was frozen so quickly, that it did not even have time to lay down on its side for its last sleep.