Most people think of paleontologists as being college graduates and professors, all of whom are adults. People like Philip Currie of the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada, Robert Bakker who discovered that Allosaurs cared for their young and Jack Horner who discovered named the Maiasaura have inspired a generation of paleontologists, but everyone you see or hear about is an adult.
Well my young friends, not every paleontologist is an adult. Yevgeny Salinder is 11 years old and he is now famous for discovering a nearly intact wooly mammoth. Yevgeny discovered the mammoth remains in the Cape Sopochnaya Karga region of the Taymyr Peninsula in Russia which is in the very northern part of the country.
Officially the mammoth has been named the Sopkarga Mammoth after the area in which it was found. More commonly, the mammoth is being called Zhenya which happens to be Yevgeny’s nickname.
Yevgeny’s mammoth is not just an intact skeleton, but it also contains, fur, flesh and layers of fat. From the size and weight of the mammoth, (1,100 pounds), experts estimate it to be a teenager of about 15 years, not much older than its discoverer. It is being hailed as the second best preserved wooly mammoth ever found. The last time a well preserved wooly mammoth was found in Russia was back 1901.
Once word got out about the incredible find, paleontologists throughout Russia rushed to the site to examine the remains and take precautions to preserve it intact as much as possible. The plans now are to carefully remove the mammoth and place it as the main exhibit in the Taymyr Regional Museum.
I hope that this inspires many of you to always be looking for fossils and other artifacts that will help to teach about the past. You don’t have to be adult to make great paleontological discoveries or any fossil discoveries. I remember finding my first fossil – a crinoid fossil – in the mountains of central Arizona when I was around Yevgeny’s age. While it wasn’t anything special to others, it was to me and sparked a lifetime fascination with fossils and I still find myself searching for them every opportunity I get and I hope you do to.
LeBlond, Lawrence. Russian Boy Finds 30,000-Year-Old Well-Preserved Mammoth Fossil, Red Orbit, Oct. 5, 2012.
Mammoth Carcass Found in Siberia, BBC News, Oct. 5, 2012.
It is interesting to note that absolutely no transitional forms have been found in the fossil record connecting any of the major groups of living creatures before or since Darwin for which peer reviewed support can be offered. Most fossils appear very similar to their living counterpart. It is as if they were created yesterday. Rocks, Fossils and Dinosaurs is a fresh look at this age-old controversy, written in a nontechnical way.
“Dr. Tom Sharp has captured a mighty evidence for creation and he has accomplished this task in a highly readable fashion. The fossil record emphatically does not provide support for evolution, but instead points to creation – not very long ago, and by a Designer like the One we read of in Scripture. Students confronted with agressive evolutionary claims would greatly benefit from reading this book. ” Dr. John Morris, President of the Institute for Creation Research