Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ivory from the melting permafrost

Trade in the ivory from the tusks of dead mammoths has occurred for 300 years and continues to be legal. Mammoth ivory is rare and costly, because mammoths have been extinct for millennia: in fact this trade does not threaten any living species. However, this uncontrolled extraction of mammoth remains from the melting Siberian permafrost is a problem. from Wiki
From a NY Times item:"There's a kind of discomfort when you're a scientist and you see something that could have scientific value being carved up and destroyed," Haynes said. "But this is the trade-off," he added. "I see the businessman's arguments, too. Mammoths are already extinct and people need an economy." In addition, the Russian government examines the tusks to make sure none bearing disease, prehistoric human markings or other scientifically valuable elements are exported.