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Mammoth Mia and Others

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Amherst chapter.

If you haven’t already heard, the result is out! THE MAMMOTH IS OFFICIAL.

Turns out we’re not the first people for which the wooly mammoth stands as the mascot. We share the wooly mammoth mascot with the Colarado Mammoths, a member of the National Lacrosse League. Accordinng to the page stats, Wooly the Mammoth is apparently six feet tall, weighs 1,000 pounds, and boasts a tusk length of 28 inches. 

About two years ago, another school was strongly considering the mammoth as their representative. Like Amherst College, University of North Dakota had filtered through a long list to generate a list of semifinalists, of which included the mammoth. Students wrote articles and raved about this specific character. But after hiring a consulting firm, who added several more options to consider, UND ultimately did away with the large creature that is now our mascot. The articles that followed this decision expressed disappointment because the writers felt that it was a wasted potential. They argued that the logo was done, merch could be sold, Ice Age could sponser the arena, and the American heavy metal band Mastadon could compose the school fight song. 

I guess we could consider these options now….? 

As of 2013, scientists are working toward moving the mammoth off the extinction list through a process called deextinction (real word). They are transferring and joining pieces of mammoth DNA with elephant cells to create hybrid cells, which are then grown in an artificial womb. While the idea sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, it undeniably poses several challenges-technically and ethically. Over a decade ago, scientists used a frozen tissue sample of the goat to temporarily revive the extinct Pyrenean ibex…for seven minutes before it died. 

On a more positive note, the wooly mammoth garnerned an impressive half of the 9,295 votes casted. With multiple recent additions, like the Greenway dorms, the Science Center, and the mascot, the image of the College is certainly evolving. Hopefully, the mammoth is here to stay, just as it has for about 100 years in Beneski Museum of Natural History.

Bonnie is a sophomore at Amherst College. Even though she studies statistics, she is interested in technology, pediatric medicine, dentistry, education, and public health.  She spends most of her day trying out new things, like eating an ice cream cone while biking or looking for ways to climb onto campus building roofs. "All over the place" would be the best way to describe her.