Fernando - Scrutus Mammuthus Pusillus
Miniature Trash Mammoth
Fernando sneaks
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hen one had the utterly rare occasion to spot a miniature trash mammoth in the wild, it was an extremely unsettling experience. It was said that these remnants of an archaic world had the ability to access a person’s soul and expose infractions and every horrid fault. It is not surprising that the Miniature Trash Mammoth would have this effect since their speed and stealth would have made observation difficult, yet not impossible. It is this folklore that seems to have forced the Miniature Trash Mammoth into extinction. In the 1910, their tusks were believed to be mighty talismans, or if ground to a powder and mixed with rose water could relieve sins.

The Miniature Trash Mammoth’s history might be traced back 10,000 years to the extinction of the Mammoth in North America. The Mammoth (a common name for several extinct species of Elephant) roamed the Americas during the Pleistocene Era, 1.8 million years ago. Three hypotheses have developed to explain their extinction: Overhunting by the Clovis people, Climate change or Hyperdisease.

To the present it is not clear how the Miniature Trash Mammoth relates to its namesake. However they both were herbivore with many enamel plated teeth, long recurved tusks, a mass of shaggy thick hair and a large hump on their backs. It is the vast difference in size that confuses scientists and archeologists. Some argued that the Miniature trash Mammoth was a Lilliputian version of the greater species, while others contest that they are two separate, but similar species. However, the trade in tusks added to the 1920’s animal disease control policy destroyed all packs of wild Miniature Trash Mammoths.

Fernando, the last know example of this species, died on July 14th, 1976 in a private zoo in Tom’s River, New Jersey. Little is known of group dynamics, since Fernando was a singular exhibit. Although near the end, Mrs. Aleister Higgs wrote of Fernando:

"Some weeks I have not seen my pet and have begun to worry. Poor Fernando knows he is alone and I believe is ashamed. I reserve one treat to lure him out of his cages: Chocolate. After consuming everything, including the wrapper, he will dance and run about until he collapses. At which time he does not seem to mind being pampered. Outside of this Chocolate inspired daze, any handling is deemed unacceptable."

The extinction of the Miniature Trash Mammoth is devastating, since we did not know a second chance when we saw it and we were doomed to repeat ourselves.

A Map of Tom's River


For More Information on the subjects relative to the Fernando's life follow these links:

Tom's River, NJ


Chocolate and pets

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