Monday, 7 May 2012

Proof of Elephants in America


Ample Proof of Elephants in America
From The Nunda News, Nunda, NY; Friday May 6, 1927. Digitized By Doug Frizzle, May 2012.
Scientists interested in the prehistoric animals that roamed the North American continent in times too remote to calculate offhand have now and then resurrected from their beds of rock and debris the skeletons of mammoths and mastodons, those strange creatures akin to the elephant. That the elephant species was known to the civilizations of Central America not so many thousands of years ago seems to be proved conclusively by recent excavations made in Panama. A. Hyatt Verrill, writing in World's Work, describes the strange sculptures of an ancient people, dug up from the volcanic soil of the little isthmian republic showing the degree of artistic advancement achieved by that vanished race.
Perhaps the most interesting and remarkable find of all, writes Mr. Verrill, was a large sculptured stone figure thoroughly elephantine in form and detail. Hitherto the so-called "elephants" found in prehistoric (and modern) American ceramics and stone work have been generally accepted as conventionalized ant bears or tapirs with exaggerated snouts. But in this case it is scarcely possible to account for the creature on this hypothesis. Not only is the body elephantine, but the large leaf like ears could belong to no other known creature, while the hind knees bend forward, a character peculiar to the elephant. It is difficult to believe that any man unfamiliar with the elephant could have conventionalized a tapir or an antbear to the extent of adding broad fan-shaped ears and legs bending forward, while, as a final touch, the creature is represented carrying a load or burden upon its back.

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As an armed forces brat, we lived in Rockcliff (Ottawa), Namao (Edmonton), Southport (Portage La Prairie), Manitoba, and Dad retired to St. Margaret's Bay, NS.
Working with the Federal Govenment for 25 years, Canadian Hydrographic Service, mostly. Now married to Gail Kelly, with two grown children, Luke and Denyse. Retired to my woodlot at Stillwater Lake, NS, on the rainy days I study the life and work of A. Hyatt Verrill 1871-1954.