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Mini Mammoth Once Roamed Crete

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the lets-get-small dept.

Science 50

ananyo writes "Scientists can now add a 'dwarf mammoth' to the list of biological oxymorons that includes the jumbo shrimp and pygmy whale. Studies of fossils discovered last year on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea reveal that an extinct species once thought to be a diminutive elephant was actually the smallest mammoth known to have existed — which, as an adult, stood no taller than a modern newborn elephant (abstract). The species is the most extreme example of insular dwarfism yet found in mammoths."

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Whelp! (-1, Troll)

LilLilDaddy (2634979) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945125)

Time to switch to Gamemaker, I guess!

That was the final straw...

you know you thought the same thing... (-1, Redundant)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945137)

Mini Mammoth

Is that like then jumbo shrimp?

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (4, Funny)

LMacG (118321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945211)

If only that had been mentioned in the summary!

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945663)

And he missed the most exciting proposition:

The Petite Lap Giraffe may one day be a reality!

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947619)

awww man , in my haste to be first in with the objoke, I missed it in the summary!

What I should have said is

is that like the pygmy whale?

!

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945395)

Ehem, get the film rights! "Mini Mammoth vs. Jumbo Shrimp - The Epic Battle of the Geologic Ages!". Pretty please, before Michael Bay gets em?

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945679)

SyFy might pick that up.

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945799)

An upcoming Ubuntu codename ?

Not exactly a new oxymoron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946831)

We've known about Pygmy Mammoths [wikipedia.org] on California's Channel Islands for ages. (Though it does sound like the species on Crete were even smaller.)

Re:you know you thought the same thing... (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947799)

I believe these are known as Mimmoths [wikia.com] .

Cyclops myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945145)

I thought this has been known for a while, and is the origin of the myth of the cyclops?

Re:Cyclops myth (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945215)

I thought this has been known for a while, and is the origin of the myth of the cyclops?

The fossil specimens aren't newly discovered; but there was apparently some phylogenetic wrangling about whether they were mammoths or elephants and there weren't enough specimens to get a good size estimate.

The present discovery is that the remains show distinctively mammoth characteristics and that there are enough of them to infer size.

Re:Cyclops myth (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947361)

I thought this has been known for a while, and is the origin of the myth of the cyclops?

You're thinking of the one eyed fossils [nationalgeographic.com] of larger variety of pachyderm found there.

Similarly, I'm wondering if these fossils are the origin of the legends of the Minitaur. [staticflickr.com]

Let's clone em! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945181)

I want a mini mammoth almost as much as I want a direwolf.

Jurassic Park (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945195)

Why couldn't they have recreated a herd of these guys instead of raptors?
Think 'Petting Zoo' instead of 'dying a horrible death'

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945393)

Why couldn't they have recreated a herd of these guys instead of raptors?
Think 'Petting Zoo' instead of 'dying a horrible death'

Worst movie ever.

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945669)

Put Kate Upton as the love interest?

Re:Jurassic Park (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945449)

When I become a rich billionaire, I'm cloning up a whole bunch of these things. Then I will travel with them through mini-mountains and attack small Italians with tiny weapons. Cutest invasion, ever!

Re:Jurassic Park (4, Funny)

fishybell (516991) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945681)

...and we will call you Hannibabar!

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945653)

Why couldn't they have recreated a herd of these guys instead of raptors? Think 'Petting Zoo' instead of 'dying a horrible death'

Well, it would make for a rather boring book and the movie would flop fairly miserably. LOL!

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945745)

In the book, Hammond used to have a tiny cat-sized elephant he liked to show off.

Re:Jurassic Park (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945757)

I know this... it's minix !

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945785)

Forget a zoo, I want one for my home. I'm putting it right next to my miniature pony for the cutest backyard pen ever!

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947357)

Because they didn't exist in the Jurassic [dinosaur] era? Besides, while there is (and has been for a long time) a great deal of fascination with the dinosaurs, for the megafauna of later eras... not so much.

Re:Jurassic Park (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39949997)

they did that. those tiny long-snouts were dangerous when panicked, just like elephants when they stampede! When they stomped on people's toes, it really, really hurt!

It's not Mini, it's my mammoth (1)

AshFan (879808) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945249)

It's not often that an article comes along, and tempts me to rename one of my body parts.

Yum (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945341)

A mini mammoth makes for a mighty fine steak.

So the Mimmoths are real! (4, Funny)

tetromino (807969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945385)

Re:So the Mimmoths are real! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946581)

For those who may not be familiar with Girl Genius [girlgeniusonline.com]

...so was anyone else expecting the OP to be making a sexist joke about what the phrases "girl genius" and "mini mammoth" have in common?

Forgotten: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945399)

Miniature Giant Space Hamsters.... poor Boo, outdone by a hairy elephant.

Re:Forgotten: (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947845)

Yes Boo, I agree. This group could do with a swift kick in the morals.

In other news... (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945429)

In other news, the date of the invention of the slider has just been pushed back 18,000 years.

Mm, a delicious treat! (1)

danaris (525051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945469)

Mimmoth on a stick [wikia.com] , anyone?

Dan Aris

Prior Art (2)

LMacG (118321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945705)

Check out Wilma Flintstone's vacuum cleaner.

Or perhaps Bedrock was located on Crete?

Re:Prior Art (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945835)

It's a living.

How does it taste? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945805)

Because if it's as good as baby elephant, count me in!

Re:How does it taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39945953)

mmm, mammoth veal.

Flinstone's White-Castle order scenario... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39945869)

"I'll have a 6-pack of mini mammoth burgers"

"Would that be the 6-pack of mini mammoth-burgers or the mini-mammoth burgers?"

Re:Flinstone's White-Castle order scenario... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946359)

6*9=54

aspberger's bait: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947743)

Q: Why can't programmers tell the difference between New Years and Halloween?

A: Because DEC25 = HEX31

Re:aspberger's bait: (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#39950381)

lol anti-intellectualism

Historia del Mamut - Un mamut chiquitito (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39946061)

Un mamut chiquitito (A tiny mammoth)
queria volar (wanted to fly)
probaba y probaba y no podia volar (triedand triedbut could notfly)
una palomita, su amiga, lo quiso ayudar (a dove, his friend, I wanted to help)
y de un quinto piso lo hizo saltar (Took him to the fifth floor and made him jump)

ah y que paso? (oh andwhat happened?)

Mierda (Shit!)
el mamut se hizo mierda (The mammoth shat himself)
mierda (Shit!)
el mamut se hizo mierda (The mammoth shat himself)

Un mamut chiquitito (Atiny mammoth)
queria fumar (wanted to smoke)
probaba y probaba (tried and tried)
y no podia fumar (but could notsmoke)
un perro, su amigo, lo quiso ayudar (a dog, his friend, hewanted to help)
y quinientos cigarrillos le hizo fumar (And made him smoke five hundred cigarettes)

y que pasó? (and what happened?)

cancer (Cancer!)
al mamut le dio cancer (They gave the mammothcancer)
cancer (Cancer!)
al mamut le dio cancer (They gave the mammothcancer)

Un mamut chiquitico (A tiny mammoth)
queria tomar (wanted to drink)
probaba y probaba (triedand tried)
y no podia tomar (and could not drink)
un oso, su amigo, lo quiso ayudar (a bear,his friend, hewanted to help)
y cien litros de whisky lo hizo tomar (and made him drink five hundred liters of whiskey)

y que pasó? (and what happened?)

cirrosis (cirrhosis!)
al mamut le dio cirrosis (It gave the mammoth cirrhosis)
cirrosis (cirrhosis!)
al mamut le dio cirrosis (It gave the mammoth cirrhosis)

Un mamaut chiquitico (A tiny mammoth)
queria debutar (Wanted to get fucked)
probaba y probaba (triedand tried)
y no podia debutar (and could notget fucked)
un burro, su amigo, lo quiso ayudar (a donkey,his friend, hewanted to help)
y con cien prostitutas lo hizo debutar (andgot him a hundred prostitutes to screw)

aah y que paso? (aahandwhat happened?)

sida (AIDS)
al mamut le dio sida (It gave the mammoth AIDS)
sida (AIDS)
al mamut le dio sida (It gave the mammoth AIDS)

Un mamut chiquitico (A tiny mammoth)
se queria drogar (wanted to do drugs)
probaba y probaba (triedand tried)
y no se podia drogar (but could not do drugs)
un gato, su amigo, lo quiso ayudar (a cat,his friend, hewanted to help)
y diez lineas de coca le hizo probar (and made him try tenlines of cocaine)

y que paso? (andwhat happened?)

sobredosis (overdose)
el mamut con sobredosis (the mammoth overdosed)
sobredosis (overdose)
el mamut con sobredosis (the mammoth overdosed)

y ahora que le paso? (and then what happened?)
se murio? [se murio] (itdied?[itdied])

Se murio! (Hedied!)
el mamut se murio! (the mammoth died!)
se murio (Hedied)
el mamut se murio (the mammoth died!)
se murio (Hedied!)
el mamut se murio (the mammoth died!)
se murio (Hedied!)
el mamut se murio (the mammoth died!)

Contradition in terms? (-1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39946549)

Mammoths are so named because they are... get this... "large". In fact, the word itself is an adjective that actually means the same thing as large. Mini means "small", so the notion of a mini-mammoth seems to me to be about as much of a contradiction in terms as the idea of a square triangle.

(now watch this... some pedantic slashdotter is actually going to reply to this after finding some reference to something that could arguably be a "square triangle" just to prove me wrong. Or, on the other hand, maybe they won't now that I've suggested it... but then again, they still might just to cross me up because they think I won't be expecting it because I already mentioned it ... Oh, I dunno).

Re:Contradition in terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39947215)

-1 Redundant

You mean an oxymoron? The same thing that is already mentioned in the summary?

Re:Contradition in terms? (2)

rHBa (976986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39948423)

Exactly, although I'd have to take exception to pygmy whale being described as an oxymoron. Although whales are generally very large the word 'whale' doesn't mean 'large'.

IMO even jumbo shrimp is debatable, shrimp has come to mean small/diminutive but that is derived from the name of the creature and doesn't mean small in and of itself*, where as mammoth actually meant large before it was applied to an animal.

* I'm actually guessing on that one, if I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me.

Re:Contradition in terms? (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947301)

2 mod points left. Do I point out that you're an idiot for confusing the adjective with the noun? Or do I mod you into oblivion?

Or do I mod you, and wait till tomorrow and comment if no one else has, potentially removing my downmod? Decisions...

Re:Contradition in terms? (1)

Savantissimo (893682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39950665)

"some pedantic slashdotter is actually going to reply to this after finding some reference to something that could arguably be a "square triangle" just to prove me wrong. "

Well, this is Slashdot, we're here for all your pedantry needs. Unfortunately the best I can do for you is a three-sided figure with internal angles adding up to 360 degrees, just like a square, or an equilateral four-sided figure with internal angles adding up to 180 degrees, just like a triangle. (Spherical and hyperbolic special cases respectively.).

Re:Contradition in terms? (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39951219)

OK, I'll play pedant with you.

The word "mammoth" does not come from any word for "large". It comes from the name "earth horn" in Mansi (so says Wikipedia). The fact that we now use the word "mammoth" to mean "large" is by analogy with the animal. As in "that's one elephant-sized headache I've got today".

Mammoths aren't actually any larger than regular African Elephants (which admittedly is pretty darned large).

Myth? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39947737)

So, perhaps this is some sort of basis for the minotaur myth? Sure, it's not a bull, but a baby hairy elephant with tusks isn't that far off. Slap on a few thousand years of the game of telephone and you have the minotaur

Re:Myth? (1)

MPolo (129811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39951721)

Many think that it's the origin of the cyclops myth. The skulls of these mammoths (once thought elephants) have very small eye sockets and a giant trunk socket. One could easily imagine that it is the skull of a giant with one big eye.
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