LAND OF THE GIANTS
Jen and Jacob fly to Whitehorse to learn from an esteemed Palaeontologist about the wooly mammoths, giant beavers and other megafauna that co-existed with the Ancient Peoples of the Yukon. Then they venture further north with Dr. Rudy to join their first dig at Little John, one of the most exciting archaeological hotspots of the western sub Arctic.
Yukon Mega Fauna
Ice Age Bison
“What’s the difference between an Archaeologist and a Palaeontologist?”
– Jacob Pratt
Shifting Northern Shorelines
When the great ice sheets of the last Ice Age locked away sea water around the world, ocean levels dropped exposing the Beringia Land Bridge. Connecting Siberia to Alaska, this low-lying zone was rich in wildlife and rimmed the top edge of what would become the Pacific Ocean. Over this convenient, fertile migration path, both man and animal crossed into new territories.
The permafrost preserves DNA for 10,000 to several 100,000 years. This provides newly available and extremely useful material for study in the evolution of animals with new techniques in genetics.
“The Ice Age is amazing because it’s the first time Archeologists and Palaeontologists worked together.”
– Jenifer Brousseau
Woolly Mammoth Tusk
The dramatic image of early man hunting Woolly Mammoths is exciting, baffling, intimidating and awe-inspiring, but that is just one part of the story. As early people moved across the continent, they followed where the land and climate directed them. Their settlements dot the path of their travels, and we can follow them across the modern border of Alaska, into the Yukon where new evidence is coming to light.
The Giants We Hunted
The vast expanse of the steppes of Beringia was an epic landscape teeming with giants. The most iconic was the great woolly mammoth and its cousin the mastodon. Other megafauna that traveled in herds include the steppe bison, western camel, saiga antelope and ice age horse. More solitary was the short-faced bear and the giant beaver.