Monday, April 27, 2009

Catch National Geographic's Megabeasts!

Monterey, California.  The National Geographic Channel has yet another great program exploring our missing wilderness.  Death of the Megabeasts explores the disappearance of giant beasts that roamed our planet long after the fall of the dinosaurs.  Scientists look at a number of theories on why these animals disappeared, including the likely possibility that we ate them!  The show next airs on May 3rd at noon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The History of Mammoths

Monterey, California.  National Geographic reports that the first written reference to mammoths is in the ShĂȘn I King, a book by Tang-fang So, a minister of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, who ruled China from 140 to 87 BCE. He wrote of the k'i shu, a gigantic, rodent-like creature that lived beneath the ice of the frozen north: “Its flesh weighs a thousand pounds and may be used as dried meat for food… its hair is about eight feet in length, and is made into rugs, which are used as bedding and to keep out the cold. The hide of the animal yields a covering for drums, the sound of which is audible over a distance of a thousand miles.” Eating mammoth flesh, he noted, was believed to be a remedy for fevers.

Check out this recreation of mammoth life from the National Geographic Channel: