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The Birth of Anancus

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The mastodon of Auvergne – an icon of the end of the Pliocene or the beginning of the Pleistocene

What did the mastodon of Auvergne look like?

Croizet and Jobert published a superb and impressive work “Recherches sur les ossements fossiles du département du Puy-de-Dôme” in 1828. They describe the mastodon of Auvergne as a new species for the first time:

“Il doit donc être parfaitement démontré, soit par les formes, soit par les dimensions des molaires et même par les os des jambes, que nous avons trouvé une nouvelle espéce du genre mastodonte; nous proposons de la distinguer sous le nom de mastodonte d'Auvergne, mastodon arvernensis.”

Translated: It must be considered fully demonstrated, either by its forms or by the dimensions of its molars and even by the bones of its legs, that we have found a new species in the genus mastodon, we propose to distinguish it under the name mastodon of Auvergne, mastodon arvernensis (sic). Note that the genus name mastodon is not capitalized as this taxonomical standard has been introduced later.

Nowadays the correct scientific name is Anancus arvernensis, because it has been put in a separate genus.

It is unknown whether or not Croizet and Jobert had a good idea about how this animal must have looked. However, since that first description there have plenty of new discoveries in many places in Europe, like Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, and especially in France in the Auvergne in the Haute-Loire. The site of Chilhac in the Haute-Loire has produced a plethora of special finds, which together with the virtually complete skeleton of the Racos mastodon in Romania, has boosted our knowledge about this animal tremendously, and this should make it possible to make a true-to-life replica of this prehistoric creature.

This fossil record gives us an excellent starting point for a life-sized replica. What else do we need for an attempt to make a well-constructed life-sized replica of Anancus? Such a project is costly and requires a sponsor and a commissioner. The replica must be of excellent quality, which requires the hand of a skilled craftsman to form the animal, a professional with experience; also somebody who is rather familiar with large animals, like elephants, for instance having worked with them in Africa in their natural habitat. In short, we need some specialists to supervise and oversee the complete process of the constructing a life-sized replica of such a prehistoric animal. Remie Bakker, a world-renowned sculptor of Rotterdam was chosen as the right artist to do this job, supervised by Dick Mol, president of the Mammuthus Club International. I, as a photographer working with Dick Mol for several years, was able to follow the entire process of “The Making Of” in the workshop of Remie Bakker in the harbor of Rotterdam. On May 23rd, 2010, the life-sized model of Anancus arvernensis was installed in the Musée Crozatier in Le Puy-en-Velay, the center of the Realm of Anancus arvernensis.
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Mammouths & Mastodontes de Haute-Loire
Mammouths & Mastodontes de Haute-Loire
Tentoonstelling Musee Crozatier
Tentoonstelling Musee Crozatier
verschillende klassieke vindplaatsen
verschillende klassieke vindplaatsen
expedities op de Noordzee
expedities op de Noordzee
Recente ontdekkingen
Recente ontdekkingen
Bedrieglijk echte modellen van uitgestorven dieren
Bedrieglijk echte modellen van uitgestorven dieren
Paleontologie voor iedereen te begrijpen
Paleontologie voor iedereen te begrijpen