Creationists often cite evidence of "sudden catastrophes" as evidence of the flood. One of those particular claims concerns woolly mammoths. The Following Questions come from an article at Answers in Genesis, while the answers come from an article at the National Center for Science Education.

How could the animals have endured the extremely cold winters? What would they eat?

William R. Farrand (1961) has investigated claims like these, and laid many of the exaggerations to rest. In particular, he proves that these animals were arctic animals, and he proves that the Berezovka mammoth was really rather putrified. He gives a chart of the plants found in the stomach of the Berezovka mammoth: they are all arctic plants like conifers, tundra grasses, and sedges. The mammoths had a thick insulating underwool beneath their shaggy coat of hair to shield them from the arctic cold. Ice age cave artists painted pictures of mammoths in their caves, a fact that should settle once and for all that the mammoths were arctic creatures.

Most puzzling of all is how did the mammoths and their companions die en masse and how could they have become encased in the permafrost?

The cold Siberian rivers could easily wash carcasses of the mammoths to the river deltas during the spring thaw. I'm sure there were thousands of spring thaws which could cause this. But it should be noted that there is really very little frozen mammoth flesh lying around in Siberia. Farrand points out how only 39 mammoths have been found with some of their flesh preserved; of these, only four have been found more or less intact, including the Berezovka mammoth.

Strangely, scientists investigating three woolly mammoths and two woolly rhinos, including the Beresovka mammoth, found they all died by suffocation. For a live animal to die of suffocation, it had to be buried rapidly or drowned.

Here is some additional evidence that a literal Flood of Noah could not have deposited these mammoth remains:
Farrand points out that we find no other species of frozen animals in Siberia except mammoths and wooly rhinoceri. Since these animals were so big and clumsy, they had trouble crossing crevices in the earth's surface, just as modern elephants do. This evidence fits well with the theory that mammoths fell off cliffs and were killed, fell into holes, were buried in landslides, or were caught and buried in ways that more mobile animals like horses and bison were able to avoid. Yet, if the Flood of Noah were literal history, we would expect to find many different species of frozen animals, not just the mammoth and wooly rhinoceros. Also, the radiocarbon dates taken from various frozen mammoth remains span the time period from 11,450 to 39,000 years before the present, and I dare say, 27,000 years is a little long for Noah's Flood. (Click here to read an article about the accuracy of radiocarbon dating).

Farrand shows that the Berezovka mammoth took several days to freeze. Predators had had a chance to mutilate it before this happened. The excavators found the stench of the partially rotted Berezovka mammoth unbearable; even the earth in which it was buried stank. Histological studies of the flesh showed "deep penetrating chemical alterations as the result of very slow decay."
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