Mammoth site veteran challenges study on drought as cause of death

Mammoth site veteran challenges study on drought as cause of death.
A recent Baylor University study suggesting that the beasts at the Waco Mammoth National Monument might have died of drought rather than flood has raised the hackles of the man who oversaw the excavation of the bones years ago.
Now Calvin Smith, retired director of Baylor’s natural history museum, is officially challenging the study.
The Baylor team found marks of hide beetles on the mammoth bones, suggesting that the carcasses were exposed to open air for months, not covered up in a catastrophic mudslide as researchers had believed for decades.
“There would have been no mass burial as we found them,” he wrote.
“They are saying the circumstances are totally different from what we experienced over 18 years,” he said.
“They’re throwing that out the window.
… To call a former researcher that has done the work is normal scientific investigation.” Esker, the co-author of the new study and a former director of the mammoth site, said he had been advised against commenting on Smith’s challenge.
Nordt did not respond over the last two weeks to interview requests for this story.
Driese, the geology professor who oversaw Esker and Wiest in their research, defended the methods as sound.

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