Exterior of the mammoth
Cranium , Volume 16 - Issue 1 p. 4- 44
For many years the mammoth’s appearance and body shape have been quite superficially and often erroneously described. Aspects of skeletons assembled in museums, or tusks mounted in skulls, continue to be topics of enduring discussion. In this work, Vereshchagin and Tikhonov have critically reviewed European and Siberian Paleolithic images of the mammoth as well as modern representations of the appearance of this animal in drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Their review is also based on renewed scientific research and new expositions of paleontological materials (for example, skeleton, soft tissue, and hair) of mammoths preserved at the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as material studied during their field excavations. The results include a comparison of the proportions of ancient, contemporary representations with the actual measurements obtained from their own work. For example, in this study the “lowered hind quarters” of the mammoth seen in ancient representations are considered the result of an immature artistic perception of reality, although those contemporary artists and their reconstructions do possess the charm of antiquity. The study of the topography, macro- and microstructure, and coloration of the woolly covering in six old and recent finds of mammoth remains permits a reconstruction of the true-life appearance of these animals and adds to our knowledge of these extinct creatures.
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