A Taste for Science; April 2000; Scientific American Magazine; by Nemecek; 1 Page(s)
There's just no delicate way to tell this story, so here goes: to test his hypothesis that early Americans used frozen lakes as refrigerators for their mastodon meals, University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel C. Fisher ate horse meat that had been floating raw in a local pond for several months.
Fisher is an expert on the natural history of mastodons and mammoths, two closely related species of elephantine mammals that inhabited much of North America until some 10,000 years ago; both were regularly hunted by humans. While excavating a pile of mastodon bones found in southern Michigan a decade ago, Fisher began to wonder whether the early Americans might have stored excess meat from a kill, instead of just abandoning it to scavengers. After all, a mastodon can weigh upward of 8,000 pounds-more than enough food for hundreds of your closest friends and relatives. Clusters of mastodon bones located near the remnants of two wooden columns offered the first clues.