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Response to "Difficult Questions for Mormons: Book of Mormon Animals"

A FairMormon Analysis of: Difficult Questions for Mormons, a work by author: The Interactive Bible
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Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals: Ass...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals: Ass...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event





Question: Why is the "Ass" (Donkey) mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

The only clue to the role of the "ass" in Nephite society is a reference those in bondage bearing of their burdens like "a dumb ass"

Brazilian Tapir (wikipedia.com)

The only clue to the role of the "ass" in Nephite society comes from Mosiah 12:5 and Mosiah 21:3, in which those in bondage bear burdens like "a dumb ass."

Other mentions occur in 1 Nephi 18:25 and Mosiah 5:14, while Mosiah 13:24 is a quotation of the Ten Commandments.

"Ass" has been suggested as a loanshift for the tapir, which many have described in decidedly horse-like terms. [1][2]

In addition, some modern tapir enthusiasts indicate that tapirs are likely unsuitable for raising in herds (not being herd animals, they tend to fight), but [P]eople in the tapirs' native countries will keep individuals to fatten them up for food, though...some are pretty tame and others can be extremely dangerous...They're big, heavy and strong, have powerful jaws and teeth, and they can move very fast." [3]

A modern government report indicates that

The tapir is docile toward man and hence management of the animal is relatively easy. An indigenous person describes the tapir as follows: "The animal is very sociable. Taken as a pup, one can easily tame it; it knows how to behave near the house; it goes to eat in the mountain and then returns to sleep near the house." [4]

It would seem that at least a limited role for the tapir is not out of the question, either as a food source (tapirs make up between 7-10% of the diet in rural Amazonia)[5] or as a potential beast of burden on a small scale (given their strength). Charles Darwin even noted that tapirs were kept tame in the Americas, though they did not tend to breed in captivity. [6]


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Bull, Calf, Cattle, Cow...Ox...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Bull, Calf, Cattle, Cow...Ox...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The current consensus is that ancient Americans did not keep herds of large animals for use as food. There is, however, some evidence to the contrary.



Sorenson: "The Miami Indians, for example, were unfamiliar with the buffalo and simply called them 'wild cows'"

John L. Sorenson:

As with many other animals in the Book of Mormon, it is likely that these Book of Mormon terms are the product of reassigning familiar labels to unfamiliar items...The Miami Indians, for example, were unfamiliar with the buffalo and simply called them “wild cows.” Likewise the “explorer DeSoto called the buffalo simply vaca, cow. The Delaware Indians named the cow after the deer, and the Miami tribe labeled sheep, when they first saw them, ‘looks-like-a-cow’”[7]


Miller and Roper: "Bones of domesticated cattle...have been reported from different caves in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [8]

Bones of domesticated cattle (Bos taurus – see Figure 2) have been reported from different caves in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.[9] In one instance these bones were found with those of an extinct horse, Equus conversidens. It is especially interesting that along with these cow and horse remains, human artifacts were found in association with them! The indication is that domesticated cattle and the horse coexisted with humans in pre-Columbian time. [10]

Image taken from Miller and Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.


Pietro Martire d'Anghiera (1912): "the Spaniards noticed herds of deer similar to our herds of cattle"

The current consensus is that ancient Americans did not keep herds of large animals for use as food. However, Pietro Martire d'Anghiera noted the following in 1912:

In all these regions they visited, the Spaniards noticed herds of deer similar to our herds of cattle. These deer bring forth and nourish their young in the houses of the natives. During the daytime they wander freely through the woods in search of their food, and in the evening they come back to their little ones, who have been cared for, allowing themselves to be shut up in the courtyards and even to be milked, when they have suckled their fawns. The only milk the natives know is that of the does, from which they make cheese.[11]


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...domestic Goat...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...domestic Goat (the Nephites claimed to have found the domestic goat!)...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The Book of Mormon does not specifically mention the "domestic goat," it distinguishes "goat" from "wild goat."



Miller and Roper: "Evidence of goats associated with pre-Columbian man also comes from caves in Yucatan"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [12]

Goats are mentioned among the animals once had by the Jaredites (Ether 9:18). Later, after their arrival in the land of promise Lehi’s family encountered “the goat and the wild goat” as they traveled in the wilderness in the land southward (1 Nephi 18:25). Sometime after the death of his father Jacob, Enos wrote that the Nephites raised “flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats” (Enos 1:21). During Alma and Amulek’s miraculous escape from the prison in Ammonihah, their terrified persecutors are said to have fled “even as a goat fleeth with her young from two lions” (Alma 14:29). There is no indication in the text that the Lehites brought goats with them to the land of promise; however, it is possible that they may have been included among those flocks and herds brought by the Jaredites in their journey over the sea (Ether 6:4). If so, it is possible that some of those encountered later by Lehi’s people were descendants of those had by the Jaredites. They would have been a useful animal to both the Jaredites and Nephites, just as they have been for man through the ages in the Old World. Evidence of goats associated with pre-Columbian man also comes from caves in Yucatan. [13] It was not made clear whether this was a wild or a domesticated type of goat.


Miller and Roper: "In post-biblical Jewish literature some Jewish writers distinguished between wild and domestic cattle such as goats"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [14]

Mention of the “wild goat” may at first seem peculiar. Biblical animals that could be eaten under the Law of Moses included the “goat” and the “wild goat” (Deuteronomy 14:4-5). In post-biblical Jewish literature some Jewish writers distinguished between wild and domestic cattle such as goats. Both were considered clean and could be eaten, but only the domestic variety was thought acceptable for sacrifice. [15] .... The only native wild goat in North America is the Mountain Goat, Oreamnos americanus. Its geographic range, though, currently only extends south from southwest Alaska down to the northwest United States. Even with a possible extended range for this animal during Book of Mormon time, it is extremely unlikely it got as far south as Mesoamerica. A closely related, but extinct, species is Oreamnos harringtoni. This goat did have a much more southerly distribution, extending into Mexico. While this goat might have survived much past the terminal Pleistocene along with other animals, there is not sufficient evidence yet for this.

It has already been indicated that a referenced animal in the Book of Mormon could actually be something somewhat different, but had a similar appearance. There is an animal now living in Mesoamerica that fits this description, the Red Brocket deer, Mazama americana. Unlike other deer it has but a single goat-like horn – which is really an antler that is shed and regrown annually like other cervids. [16]

Image taken from Miller and Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Horse...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Horse (the horse plays a major role in the Nephite and Lamanite societies)...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Ancient horses are believed to have vanished before the time of the Lehite's arrival, and modern horses were brought to the New World by the Spaniards. Yet there are a few pieces of circumstantial evidence of horses which are currently not accepted as valid by the scientific community.



Question: Why are horses considered an anachronism in the Book of Mormon?

Horses existed in the New World anciently and spread to other parts of the world, however, it is currently believed that "The last prehistoric North American horses died out between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene." [17]

Modern horses did not arrive in the New World until they were brought by Spanish explorers. Thus, the mention of "horses" in the Americas during Book of Mormon times presents an anachronism--something that doesn't fit the time frame for which it is claimed.

There are at least two possible resolutions to the "horse" problem in the Book of Mormon:

  1. Horses were present but their remains have not been found.
  2. Definitions of the word "horse" were expanded to include new meanings.


Question: What is the origin of the modern horse in the New World?

Most scientists believe that the horse originated in the Americas and spread across land bridges from the Americas to Asia, eventually migrating into Africa and Europe. Over the course of millions of years the horse evolved from a smaller breed to the larger horses of today. Near the end of the Pleistocene period--about 10,000 years ago--the most recent ice-age came to an end. During this time many large mammals that once roamed the Americas became extinct. Among these were mammoths, camels, and the mid-sized horses that once lived in abundance in the New World. Scientists typically postulate that these animals died off due to climate changes and possible over-hunting. In other parts of the world, however, horses continued to thrive and eventually evolved into modern-day horses. When the Spaniards came to the New World in the early sixteenth century, they brought horses with them. Some horses eventually escaped and multiplied in the wild.

A horse skeleton from the La Brea Tarpits, in Los Angeles, California. The Museum notes that this is an example of the "extinct Western horse". Image taken from [1] on the La Brea Tarpits Museum website.



Verses in the Book of Mormon that talk about "horses"

Horses associated with travel and chariots

  • Alma 18:9-10
    And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi...Now when king Lamoni heard that Ammon was preparing his horses and his chariots he was more astonished...
  • Alma 18:12
    And it came to pass that when Ammon had made ready the horses and the chariots for the king and his servants...
  • Alma 20:6
    Now when Lamoni had heard this he caused that his servants should make ready his horses and his chariots.
  • 3 Nephi 3:22
    And it came to pass in the *seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.

(It should be noted that we are not told if these chariots served a purpose in riding, or if they were for transport of goods, or if they had a ceremonial function. One assumes some sort of practicality or ritual use in war, since they brought chariots to the siege in 3 Nephi.)

Horse mentioned in quotes of Old World scripture

  • 2 Nephi 12:7
    Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots.
  • 2 Nephi 15:28
    Whose arrows shall be sharp, and all their bows bent, and their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind, their roaring like a lion.
  • 3 Nephi 21:14
    Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;

Wild horses

  • 1 Nephi 18:25
    And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men.

Domesticated horses

  • Enos 1:21
    And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.

Horses as a potential source of food

  • 3 Nephi 4:4
    Therefore, there was no chance for the robbers to plunder and to obtain food, save it were to come up in open battle against the Nephites; and the Nephites being in one body, and having so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses and cattle, and flocks of every kind, that they might subsist for the space of seven years...
  • 3 Nephi 6:1
    And now it came to pass that the people of the Nephites did all return to their own lands in the *twenty and sixth year, every man, with his family, his flocks and his herds, his horses and his cattle...
  • Ether 9:19
    And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.

It is interesting that the horses are often grouped with cattle, and seem to have played a role in the diet (though this may have been under the exigencies of the siege of 3 Nephi.)


Question: What role do horses not play in the Book of Mormon?

Horses are never ridden or used in battle

Conspicuously absent is any role of the horse in the many journeys recorded in the Book of Mormon. Nor do horses or chariots play any role in the many Nephite wars; this is in stark contrast to the Biblical account, in which the chariots of Egypt, Babylon, and the Philistines are feared super-weapons upon the plains of Israel.

Nor do we see a role for the horse in gallant cavalry charges that were the romantic warrior ideal in Joseph Smith's day. Nor is there any sign of the rapid war of maneuver and skirmish favored by the cavalry of the western nations. These are not the horses of the nineteenth century's practical realities or fanciful dreams.

There are societies in which the horse was vital, such as among the Hun warriors of Asia and Eastern Europe, for whom horses were a sign of wealth and status, and for whom they were essential for food, clothing, and war. Yet, there is no known horse bone from this period in the archaeological record.[18]


Question: Have any ancient horse remains from the Nephite period been found in the New World?

A few non-Mormon scholars have proposed that real horses survived the New World extinction

Wild horses were present in ancient America during the Pleistocene period (Ice Age), yet were not present at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards. Horses thrived once they were re-introduced by the Spaniards into the New World. The question then is: "Why were horses missing when the Spaniards arrived?" Is it possible that real horses lived in the Americas during Book of Mormon times? And if so, why does there seem to be no archaeological support?

At least a few non-Mormon scholars believe that real horses (of a stature smaller than modern horses) may have survived New World extinction. The late British anthropologist, M.F. Ashley Montague, a non-LDS scholar who taught at Harvard, suggested that the horse never became extinct in America. According to Montague, the size of post-Columbian horses provides evidence that the European horses bred with early American horses.[19]

Non-LDS Canadian researcher, Yuri Kuchinsky, also believes that there were pre-Columbian horses. Kuchinsky, however, believes that horses (smaller than our modern horses) were reintroduced into the west coast of the Americas about 2000 years ago from Asians who came by ship. Among Kuchinsky's evidences for pre-Columbian horses are:

  1. Horse traditions among the Indians that may pre-date the arrival of the Spaniards.
  2. Supposedly pre-Columbian petroglyphs that appear to depict horses.
  3. Noticeable differences between the typical Spanish horse and the much smaller American Indian ponies.[20]


Question: Why don't potential pre-Columbian horse remains in the New World receive greater attention from scientists?

Theories that horses survived extinction after the Pleistocene extinction are viewed as fringe by mainstream scholars and are dismissed

Unfortunately for this solution for the Book of Mormon, however, such theories are typically seen as fringe among mainstream scholars. Due to the dearth of archaeological support, most scholars continue to believe that horses became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene period.

We know, for example, that the Norsemen probably introduced horses, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs into the Eastern North America in the eleventh century A.D., yet these animals didn't spread throughout the continent and they left no archeological remains.[21] According to one non-LDS authority on ancient American, the Olmecs had domesticated dogs and turkeys but the damp acidic Mesoamerican soil would have destroyed any remains and any archaeological evidence of such animal domestication.[22]

Even in areas of the world where animals lived in abundance, we sometimes have problems finding archaeological remains. The textual evidence for lions in Israel, for example, suggests that lions were present in Israel from ancient times until at least the sixteenth century AD. Robert R. Bennett of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute Of Religious Scholarship notes,

A parallel example from the Bible is instructive. The biblical narrative mentions lions, yet it was not until very recently that the only other evidence for lions in Palestine was pictographic or literary. Before the announcement in a 1988 publication of two bone samples, there was no archaeological evidence to confirm the existence of lions in that region.6 Thus there is often a gap between what historical records such as the Book of Mormon claim existed and what the limited archaeological record may yield. In addition, archaeological excavations in Bible lands have been under way for decades longer and on a much larger scale than those in proposed Book of Mormon lands.[23]

In the Bible we read that Abraham had camels while in Egypt, yet archaeologists used to believe that this was an anachronism because camels were supposedly unknown in Egypt until Greek and Roman times. More recently, however, some researchers have shown that camels were used in Egypt from pre-historic times until the present day.

The fact is, however, that there does appear to be archaeological support that horses existed in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. In 1957, for instance, at Mayapan (a site corresponding to Book of Mormon lands/times) horse remains were discovered at a depth considered to be pre-Columbian. Likewise, in southwest Yucatan, a non-Mormon archaeologist found what may likely be pre-Columbian horse remains in three caves. Excavations in a cave in the Mayan lowlands in 1978 also turned up horse remains.[24]

As an article for the Academy of Natural Science explains, such discoveries are typically "either dismissed or ignored by the European scientific community."[25] The problem may be one of pre-conceived paradigms. Dr. Sorenson recently related the story of a non-LDS archaeologist colleague who was digging at an archaeological dig in Tula and discovered a horse tooth. He took it to his supervisor--the chief archaeologist--who said, "Oh, that's a modern horse, throw it away" (which he did)--it was never dated.[26]

Dr. John Clark, director of the New World Archaeological Foundation has expressed similar concerns:

The problem is archaeologists get in the same hole that everybody else gets in. If you find a horse--if I'm digging a site and I find a horse bone--if I actually know enough to know that it is a horse bone, because that takes some expertise--my assumption would be that there's something wrong with my site. And so archaeologists who find a horse bone and say, "Ah! Somebody's screwing around with my archaeology." So we would never date it. Why am I going to throw away $600 to date the horse bone when I already know [that they're modern]? ...I think that hole's screwed up. If I dig a hole and I find plastic in the bottom, I'm not going to run the [radio]carbon, that's all there is to it. Because ...I don't want to waste the money.[27]


Question: Could ancient Americans have expanded the definition of "horse" to include new meanings?

Loan shifting: We must consider the possibility that the ancient author was applying familiar terms to unfamiliar animals that were encountered in the New World

Joseph Smith obviously knew what a "horse" looked like. It stands to reason, therefore, that when Joseph said "horse" that this is exactly what he meant. If we consider, however, that Joseph was receiving revelation that simply conveyed what was written by the ancient author, we must consider the possibility that the ancient author was applying familiar terms to unfamiliar animals that were encountered in the New World. It is important to remember that the Book of Mormon itself is not an ancient text—it is a nineteenth-century translation of an ancient text. Modern readers need to have an understanding of what the ancient author was attempting to convey. Some of the things that seem "plain" to us are not so "plain" upon further investigation or once we understand the culture that produced the text.

For a detailed response, see: Loan shifting: "Horses" as deer and tapirs


"Pottery and other cultural materials were found in levels VII and above. But in some of those artifact-bearing strata there were horse bones, even in level II."

The Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: [28]

Publications from the late 1950s reported results from excavations by scientists working on the Yucatan Peninsula. Excavations at the site of Mayapan, which dates to a few centuries before the Spaniards arrived, yielded horse bones in four spots. (Two of the lots were from the surface, however, and might represent Spanish horses.) From another site, the Cenote (water hole) Ch'en Mul, came other traces, this time from a firm archaeological context. In the bottom stratum in a sequence of levels of unconsolidated earth almost two meters in thickness, two horse teeth were found. They were partially mineralized, indicating that they were definitely ancient and could not have come from any Spanish animal. The interesting thing is that Maya pottery was also found in the stratified soil where the teeth were located. [29]

Subsequent digging has expanded the evidence for an association of humans with horses. But the full story actually goes back to 1895, when American paleontologist Henry C. Mercer went to Yucatan hoping to find remains of Ice Age man. He visited 29 caves in the hill area—the Puuc—of the peninsula and tried stratigraphic excavation in 10 of them. But the results were confused, and he came away disillusioned. He did find horse bones in three caves (Actun Sayab, Actun Lara, and Chektalen). In terms of their visible characteristics, those bones should have been classified as from the Pleistocene American horse species, then called Equus occidentalis L. However, Mercer decided that since the remains were near the surface, they must actually be from the modern horse, Equus equus, that the Spaniards had brought with them to the New World, and so he reported them as such.[30] In 1947 Robert T. Hatt repeated Mercer's activities. He found within Actun Lara and one other cave more remains of the American horse (in his day it was called Equus conversidens), along with bones of other extinct animals. Hatt recommended that any future work concentrate on Loltun Cave, where abundant animal and cultural remains could be seen.[31]

It took until 1977 before that recommendation bore fruit. Two Mexican archaeologists carried out a project that included a complete survey of the complex system of subterranean cavities (made by underground water that had dissolved the subsurface limestone). They also did stratigraphic excavation in areas in the Loltun complex not previously visited. The pits they excavated revealed a sequence of 16 layers, which they numbered from the surface downward. Bones of extinct animals (including mammoth) appear in the lowest layers.

Pottery and other cultural materials were found in levels VII and above. But in some of those artifact-bearing strata there were horse bones, even in level II. A radiocarbon date for the beginning of VII turned out to be around 1800 BC. The pottery fragments above that would place some portions in the range of at least 900–400 BC and possibly later. The report on this work concludes with the observation that "something went on here that is still difficult to explain." Some archaeologists have suggested that the horse bones were stirred upward from lower to higher levels by the action of tunneling rodents, but they admit that this explanation is not easy to accept. The statement has also been made that paleontologists will not be pleased at the idea that horses survived to such a late date as to be involved with civilized or near-civilized people whose remains are seen in the ceramic-using levels.[32] Surprisingly, the Mexican researchers show no awareness of the horse teeth discovered in 1957 by Carnegie Institution scientists Pollock and Ray. (Some uncomfortable scientific facts seem to need rediscovering time and time again.)


Martin: "no theoretical reason why a herd of mastodons, horses, or ground sloths could not have survived in some small refuge until 8000 or even 4000 years ago"

Paul S. Martin:

Admittedly, there is no theoretical reason why a herd of mastodons, horses, or ground sloths could not have survived in some small refuge until 8000 or even 4000 years ago. But in the past two decades, concordant stratiagraphic, palynological, archeological, and radiocarbon evidence to demonstrate beyond doubt the post-glacial survival of an extinct large mammal has been confined to extinct species of Bison…No evidence of similar quality has been mustered to show that mammoths, mastodons, or any of the other 29 genera of extinct large mammals of North America were alive 10,000 years ago. The coincidence in time between massive extinction and the first arrival of big game hunters cannot be ignored.[33]


Grayson: "extinct North American mammals...losses began in Mexico and Alaska during the Pleistocene and ended in Florida perhaps as recently as 2000 years ago"

Grayson:

In the first thorough review of radiocarbon dates associated with the extinct North American mammals, Martin (1958) concluded that the losses began in Mexico and Alaska during the Pleistocene and ended in Florida perhaps as recently as 2000 years ago (1958:405). Soon after, however, Hester (1960:58) concluded that the great majority of herd animals seemed to have been lost swiftly and together around 8,000 years ago even if some, like the mastodon, may have lingered on beyond then. Hester was thus the first to suggest, based on radiocarbon evidence, that a significant number, if not all, of the North American extinctions were synchronous. [34]


Bernardino de Sahagun: "Fodder was provided the deer—horses—which the Spaniards rode"

Bernardino de Sahagun:

Fodder was provided the deer—horses—which the Spaniards rode....The horses—they looked like deer—neighed and whinnied. They were all sweating; water fell from their bodies....[35]


Sorenson: Horse bones in Yucatan "considered to be pre-Columbian on the basis of depth of burial and degree of mineralization"

John L. Sorenson: [36]

Excavations at the Post-Classic site of Mayapan in Yucatan in 1957 yielded remains of horses in four lots. Two of these specimens are from the surface and might have been remains of Spanish animals. Two other lots, however, were obtained from excavation in Cenote [water hole] Ch'en Mul "from the bottom stratum in a sequence of unconsolidated earth almost 2 meters in thickness." They were "considered to be pre-Columbian on the basis of depth of burial and degree of mineralization. Such mineralization was observed in no other bone or tooth in the collection although thousands were examined, some of which were found in close proximity to the horse teeth." Clayton E. Ray somewhat lamely suggests that the fossil teeth were of Pleistocene age and "could have been transported . . . as curios by the Mayans." [37]


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...domestic Sheep...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...domestic Sheep...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Sheep are mentioned as food animals by the Jaredites, who appear to have brought them with them to the New World.



Miller and Roper: "there are sheep native to America. The most common type is the Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [38]

Sheep were probably among the animals brought to America by the Jaredites, although they were not stated explicitly by name (Ether 6:4). They most likely are to be included in the term “flocks,” and are mentioned by name in Ether ( 9:18) several generations later. Sheep have been useful to man for many centuries and were probably man’s first domesticated animal [39] (along with the dog). They are useful for both food and clothing. In addition to Old World sheep, apparently brought to the New World by the Jaredites, there are sheep native to America. The most common type is the Mountain Sheep, Ovis canadensis. Their current geographic range extends south only to northern Mexico. However, their past range was more extensive, as was their habitat before human settlements expanded. [40] They are an animal that can be tamed or at least semi-domesticated. According to Geist , “It is hard to imagine a wild animal more readily tamed than mountain sheep.” [41] Sorenson noted the apparent recovery of sheep wool from a pre-Columbian burial site near Puebla (southeast of Mexico City). [42] Petroglyphs from Mexico and the southwestern United States show many prehistoric depictions of sheep. It appears certain that the association of sheep and man occurred in America before this animal was brought over beginning in 1493 with Columbus’ second voyage.


Wikipedia: Bighorn sheep "crossed to North America over the Bering land bridge"

Bighorn sheep were native to North America at the time the the Jaredites arrived. The following is from Wikipedia:

The bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)[43] is a species of sheep in North America [44] named for its large horns. These horns can weigh up to 30 lb (14 kg), while the sheep themselves weigh up to 300 lb (140 kg). [45] Recent genetic testing indicates three distinct subspecies of Ovis canadensis, one of which is endangered: O. c. sierrae. Sheep originally crossed to North America over the Bering land bridge from Siberia: the population in North America peaked in the millions, and the bighorn sheep entered into the mythology of Native Americans. [46]


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Sow, Swine...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Sow, Swine...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is a falsehood - The author has disseminated false information

Wikipedia says that there were: "A peccary (also javelina or skunk pig) is a medium-sized hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae (New World pigs) in the suborder Suina along with the Old World pigs, Suidae. They are found in the southwestern area of North America and throughout Central and South America....Although they are common in South America today, peccaries did not reach that continent until about three million years ago during the Great American Interchange, when the Isthmus of Panama formed, connecting North America and South America. At that time, many North American animals—including peccaries, llamas and tapirs—entered South America, while some South American species, such as the ground sloths, and opossums, migrated north."[47]



Sorenson: "There is an animal which they call chic, wonderfully active, as large as a small dog, with a snout like a sucking pig. The Indian women raise them"

John L. Sorenson:

A good example of the confusion is with the coatimundi (Nasua narica). Landa, the padre who favored us with a detailed description of Yucatan, wrote of the beast, "There is an animal which they call chic, wonderfully active, as large as a small dog, with a snout like a sucking pig. The Indian women raise them, and they leave nothing which they do not root over and turn upside down"...Another name, from the Aztecs, is pisote (Nahuatl pezotli), which means basically glutton. Yet pisote is sometimes applied also to the peccary or wild pig. In regard to the peccary, the Nahuatl terms quauhcoyametl and quahpizotl were developed after the conquest to distinguish the native species from the introduced Castilian pig, so by extension, the coati was sometimes termed quauhpezotli, tree-glutton, to distinguish it from the peccary, the ground-glutton.[48]


Miller and Roper: "two distinct species of peccary live in Mesoamerica....They were hunted and eaten as early as Olmec times"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper: [49]

Presently two distinct species of peccary live in Mesoamerica. These include the Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) and the White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari), both of which can be found in the tropical regions near the Tuxtlas Mountains of the Yucatan. [50] The Jaredites as they presumably established settlements in Mesoamerica no doubt would have encountered them. They were hunted and eaten as early as Olmec times. Remains of these animals have been found associated with man for several thousands of years. There is a paleo-Indian carving of an extinct camel sacrum in the shape of a peccary. A Picture of this bone is shown by Evans. [51] The bone of this extinct camel came from deposits in central Mexico, and shows ancient interaction between this extinct animal and Pre-columbian natives. Remains of Pre-Columbian peccary have been found finds in Loltún Cave in the Yucatan [52] and in several other caves in the region associated with human artifacts. [53] There is no question that peccaries (“wild pigs”) and man shared this area since prehistoric times.

Image taken from Miller and Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.


Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Elephants...None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why does the Book of Mormon mention the following animals:...Elephants (contrary to the dated information on this site, non-LDS indicate that there is no evidence of elephants in the New World and the mammoth and mastodon of North America have been extinct for thousands years--see Stan Larson's "Quest for the Gold Plates" pages 184-188? None of these animals even existed in America during the era and timescale of Book of Mormon times."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains mistakes and/or errors - The author has stated erroneous or incorrect information or misinterpreted their sources

There is substantial circumstantial evidence that New World natives were familiar with the elephant, and they only need to have existed during early Jaredite times since they are never mentioned by the Nephites.

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Question: In what context are elephants mentioned in the Book of Mormon?

Elephants are only mentioned once in the Book of Mormon in connection with the Jaredites. They were noted as being among the most useful animals. The Jaredites are estimated to have arrived in the New World between 2600 and 2100 BC.

And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms. (Ether 9:19)

There is no mention in the Book of Mormon of elephants having existed in the New World during the Nephite period.


Wikipedia: Mammoths "were members of the family Elephantidae"

Mammoths could have easily been present in North America at the time of the Jaredites (the only time that elephants are mentioned in the Book of Mormon). The Wikipedia article "Mammoth" notes:

A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, proboscideans commonly equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair. They lived from the Pliocene epoch (from around 5 million years ago) into the Holocene at about 4,500 years ago[1][2] in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. They were members of the family Elephantidae which contains, along with mammoths, the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors. [54]


Johnson: "Probably it is safe to say that American Proboscidea have been extinct for a minimum of 3000 years"

The Elephant is only mentioned in the Book of Ether. If the elephants had died off at least 3000 years ago, they would still have been well within range of the Jaredite era. Ludwell Johnson wrote in 1952:

Discoveries of associations of human and proboscidean remains [Elephantine mammals, including, elephants, mammoths, and mastodons] are by no means uncommon. As of 1950, MacCowan listed no less than twenty-seven” including, as noted by Hugo Gross, a “partly burned mastodon skeleton and numerous potsherds at Alangasi, Ecuador...There can no longer be any doubt that man and elephant coexisted in America.... Probably it is safe to say that American Proboscidea have been extinct for a minimum of 3000 years." [55]


Miller and Roper: "This was long enough to bring them (mammoths) to the time of the Jaredites"

Elephants are only mentioned in the Book of Ether. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper note that mammoths survived until the time of the Jaredites: [56]

Along with a number of large mammals thought to have become extinct about 10,000 years ago, it’s now known that the mammoth survived for a few thousand years longer. This was long enough to bring them to the time of the Jaredites. A date for a mammoth in northern North America was cited at 3,700 years before the present. [57] An Alaskan mammoth was dated at 5,720 years ago. [58] In the contiguous United States Mead and Meltzer provided an age of 4,885 years for a dated mammoth specimen. [59] As more mammoth (elephant) finds are made, even younger dates will no doubt arise. Generally, when animal species’ populations decrease, they survive longer in southern refugia. Small populations could well have survived in Mesoamerica well past the close of the Pleistocene. The fact that known dates of mammoths in Mesoamerica are numerous up to the end of this epoch helps support this view. It should be pointed out that the mammoth never did range as far south as South America.


Miller and Roper: "Evidence for the survival of the elephant can be found in Native American myths and traditions"

Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper note that "evidence for the survival of the elephant can be found in Native American myths and traditions": [60]

Gulf of Mexico: "giant beasts with long noses that could trample people and uproot trees"

Indigenous people along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico have traditions of giant beasts with long noses that could trample people and uproot trees.[61]

The Abenaki (New England region): "a kind of arm which grows out of his shoulder"

Abenaki tradition tells of a great “elk” that could easily walk through more than eight feet of snow, whose skin was said to be tough and had “a kind of arm which grows out of his shoulder, which he makes use of as we do ours.” [62]

The Naskapi (Quebec region): "large ears and a long nose with which he hit people"

The Naskapi people tell of a large monster that once trampled them and left deep tracks in the snow had large ears and a long nose with which he hit people. [62]

The Penobscot (Maine region): "huge animals with long teeth which drank water for half a day at a time"

The Penobscot culture hero Snow Owl is said to have gone on a long journey to a far valley in search of his missing wife. When he reached the valley he saw what appeared to be hills without vegetation moving slowly about. Upon closer inspection he found that these were the backs of huge animals with long teeth which drank water for half a day at a time and when they laid down could not get back up. Snow owl was able to trap the large beasts by making them fall on sharpened stakes where he then was able to shoot and kill them. [62]

Native American groups from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico

Similar traditions have been documented for Native American groups from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico persuading some scholars that they are based upon a core memory of actual historical encounters with elephant-like species who may have survived into the region as late as 3,000 years ago. [63]

Mexico: "long tapering arms and could tear up trees as if they were lettuce"

Pre-Columbian traditions from Mexico tell of monstrous ogre-like giants who once inhabited the region and were subsequently killed following the arrival of Aztec ancestors. These tales attribute some human characteristics to these legendary giants, while other ones seem less so. The giants were said to have long tapering arms and could tear up trees as if they were lettuce. [64]

Mexico: "a vague memory of prehensile trunks, something like the `extra arm’ of the Giant Elk in Abenaki and Iroquois myth"

These legends say, notes Adrienna Mayor, “… that the giants destroyed by the ancestors pulled down trees and ate grass, elephant-like behavior.” and she suggests that these stories may reflect “a vague memory of prehensile trunks, something like the `extra arm’ of the Giant Elk in Abenaki and Iroquois myth.” While this cannot be proven, she thinks it possible that “…localized mammoth species (and other large Pleistocene animals and birds) may have survived to later dates in the Valley of Mexico and the Southwestern United States.” … and also that “some aspects of the legendary giant-ogres may have originated in ancestral memories of Columbian mammoths and may have been later confirmed by discoveries of fossils.” [65]


Response to claim: "Why aren't animals such as Coatimundis, Deer, Jaguars, Tapir, Monkeys, Sloths, Turkeys, etc.. mentioned when they were animals that existed?"

The author(s) of Difficult Questions for Mormons make(s) the following claim:

Response to claim: "Why aren't animals such as Coatimundis, Deer, Jaguars, Tapir, Monkeys, Sloths, Turkeys, etc.. mentioned when they were animals that existed? They were unknown to Joseph Smith, but later discovered to have lived here at the time the Nephites were supposed to have co-existed with them."

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim contains propaganda and/or spin - The author, or the author's source, is providing information or ideas in a slanted way in order to instill a particular attitude or response in the reader

The Book of Mormon is translation literature, and the translator probably wasn't aware of those animals. The animals had been regularized to Western European expectations. Nevertheless, there are hints in the actions of the animals in the text that tells us that things aren't quite as "western" as they seem (such as the flocks in the story of Ammon).




Notes

  1. "Horses in the Book of Mormon" (Provo: Utah, FARMS, 2000). off-site
  2. See, for example, the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition for horse.
  3. Sheryl Todd, "The Tapir Gallery, the Tapir Preservation Fund," Tapir Gallery archive (7 May 1997, 14:03:06 -6h00), (last accessed 22 October 2005) off-site
  4. Joseph Henry Vogel, "White paper: The Successful Use of Economic Instruments to Foster Sustainable Use of Biodiversity: Six Case Studies from Latin America and the Caribbean," Biopolicy Journal, Vol. 2, Paper 5 (PY97005), 1997. off-site
  5. OAS.org off-site (last accessed 22 October 2005).
  6. Charles Darwin, The Variation of Plants and Animals Under Domestication, Vol. 2, (1868), 86. off-site
  7. John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 294.
  8. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  9. Robert T. Hatt, “Faunal and archaeological researches in Yucatan caves.” Cranbrook Institute of Science 33 (1953), 1-42.
  10. Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales and Oscar Polaco, “Caves and the Pleistocene vertebrate paleontology of Mexico.” In B. W. Schubert, J. I. Mead and R. W. Graham (eds.) Ice Age Faunas of North America (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003), 273-291.
  11. Pietro Martire d'Anghiera, De Orbe Novo: The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr d'Anghera (1912), 2:259.
  12. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  13. Robert T. Hatt, “Faunal and archaeological researches in Yucatan caves.” Cranbrook Institute of Science 33 (1953),29.
  14. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  15. Jehuda. Felilks., “Animals of the Bible and Talmud,” Encyclopaedia Judaica (1996)3:8.
  16. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, (Ibid), 299; Roper, “Deer as `Goat’ and Pre-Columbian Domesticate,” Insights: An Ancient Window 26/6 (2006), 2-3.
  17. Jay F. Kirkpatrick and Patricia M. Fazio, "The Surprising History of America's Wild Horses," LiveScience.com (July 24, 2008) off-site
  18. S. Bokonyi, History of Domestic Mammals in Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest: Akademiai Kiado, 1974), 267.
  19. Paul R. Cheesman, The World of the Book of Mormon (Bountiful, UT: Horizon Publishers, 1984), 194, 181.
  20. http://www.strangeark.com/nabr/NABR5.pdf
  21. William J. Hamblin, "Basic Methodological Problems with the Anti-Mormon Approach to the Geography and Archaeology of the Book of Mormon," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 2/1 (1993): 161–197. wiki off-site GL direct link
  22. John Tvedtnes, “The Nature of Prophets and Prophecy” (unpublished, 1994), 29-30 (copy in Mike Ash’s possession); Benjamin Urrutia, “Lack of Animal Remains at Bible and Book-of-Mormon Sites,” Newsletter and Proceedings of the Society for Early Historic Archaeology, 150 (August 1982), 3-4.
  23. "Horses in the Book of Mormon" (Provo: Utah, FARMS, 2000). off-site
  24. Clay E. Ray, “Pre-Columbian Horses from Yucatan,” Journal of Mammalogy 38:2 (1957), 278.
  25. http://www.ansp.org/museum/leidy/paleo/equus.php)
  26. Mike Ash notes that this story was told at the Q&A session following Dr. Sorenson’s presentation, “The Trajectory of Book of Mormon Studies,” 2 August 2007 at the 2007 FAIR Conference; audio and video in author’s possession.
  27. John Clark during Q&A session following Dr. Clark’s presentation, “Archaeology, Relics, and Book of Mormon Belief,” 25 May 2004 at BYU; audio of Q&A in author Mike Ash's possession.
  28. Anonymous, "Out of the Dust: Were Ancient Americans Familiar with Real Horses?," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 10/1 (2001): N/A–N/A. off-site wiki
  29. See Harry E. D. Pollock and Clayton E. Ray, "Notes on Vertebrate Animal Remains from Mayapan," Current Reports 41 (August 1957): 638; this publication is from the Department of Archaeology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. See also Clayton E. Ray, "Pre-Columbian Horses from Yucatan," Journal of Mammalogy 38 (1957): 278.
  30. Henry C. Mercer, The Hill-Caves of Yucatan: A Search for Evidence of Man's Antiquity in the Caverns of Central America (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1896), 172.
  31. Robert T. Hatt, "Faunal and Archaeological Researches in Yucatan Caves," Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bulletin 33, 1953. See Peter J. Schmidt, "La entrada del hombre a la peninsula de Yucatan," in Origines del Hombre Americano, comp. Alba Gonzalez Jacome (Mexico: Secretaria de Educacion Publica, 1988), 250.
  32. Schmidt, "La entrada," 254.
  33. Paul S. Martin, "The Discovery of America," Science 179 (1973): 974 n. 3.
  34. Donald K. Grayson (Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195), "Deciphering North American Pleistocene Extinctions," Journal of Anthropological Research, in press (2007 JAR Distinguished Lecture)
  35. Bernardino de Sahagun, The War of Conquest: How It Was Waged Here in Mexico: the Aztecs' own story (University of Utah Press, 1978).
  36. John L. Sorenson, "Once More: The Horse," in Reexploring the Book of Mormon, edited by John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 1992), Chapter 10.
  37. Clayton E. Ray, "Pre-Columbian Horses from Yucatan," Journal of Mammalology 38 (1957): 278; Harry E. D. Pollock and Clayton E. Ray, "Notes on Vertebrate Animal Remains from Mayapan," Current Reports 41 (August 1957): 638 (Carnegie Institution, Washington, D.C., Dept. of Archaeology).
  38. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  39. C. Radulesco and P. Samson, Sur un centre de domestication du mouton dans le Mesolithique de grotte “La Adam, en Dobrogea,” Tierzüchlung und Züchtungsbiologic 76 (1962), 282-320.
  40. E. Raymond Hall and Keith R. Kelson, The Mammals of North America,” (New York, Ronald Press, 1959).1
  41. Valerius Geist, “Mountain Sheep: A Study in Behavior and Evolution,” (Chicago and London: University of Chicago press, 1971), 41.
  42. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon, (Salt Lake City, Deseret Book, 1985), 296-97.
  43. "Ovis canadensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 18 March 2006.
  44. Grubb, P. (16 November 2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. off-site
  45. "Bighorn Sheep". Ultimate Ungulate page. off-site
  46. "Bighorn sheep," Wikipedia (accessed 18 August 2014)
  47. Wikiepdia article "Peccary" (accessed 8 January 2015). off-site
  48. John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 290.
  49. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  50. A. Starker Leopold, “Wildlife of Mexico: The Game Birds and Mammals,” (Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1959), 493-500.
  51. S. T. Evans, “Ancient Mexico & Central America: Archaeology and Culture History,” (London, Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2004).
  52. Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales and Ticul Alverez, “A preliminary report of the late Quaternary mammal fauna from Loltún Cave, Yucatán, México,” In B. W. Schubert, J. I. Mead and R. W. Graham (eds.) Ice Age Faunas of North America (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2003), 266.
  53. Robert T. Hatt, Faunal and Archaeological Researches in Yucatan Caves (1953), 1-42.
  54. “Mammoth,” Wikipedia (accessed 24 Sept. 2014)
  55. Ludwell H. Johnson, “Men and Elephants in America,” The Scientific Monthly 75 (1952), 220-221.
  56. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  57. S. L. Vartanyan, V. E. Garutt, and A. V. Sher, “Holocene dwarf Mammoths from Wrangle Island in the Siberian Arctic,” Nature 362 (1993),337-340.
  58. David R. Yesner, Douglas W. Veltre, Kristine J. Crossen and Russell W. Graham, 5,700-year-old Mammoth Remains from Qagnax Cave, Pribilof Islands, Alaska. In L. D. Agenbroad and R. L. Symington (eds.), The World of Elepahants (Short Papers and Abstracts of the 2nd International Congress, 2005), 200-204.
  59. James I. Mead and David J. Meltzer, “North American late Quaternary extinctions and the radiocarbon record, In P. S. Martin and R. G. Klein (eds.) Quaternary Extinctions: A Prehistoric Revolution, (Tucson, University of Arizona Press. 1984), 440-450.
  60. Wade E. Miller and Matthew Roper, "Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives," Blog of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (April 21, 2014)
  61. John R. Swanton, Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1911), 355.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 W. D. Strong, “North American traditions suggesting a knowledge of the mammoth,” American Anthropologist 36 (1934), 81-88.
  63. Ludwell H. Johnson, “Men and Elephants in America,” The Scientific Monthly 75 (1952), 220-221.
  64. Juan de Torquemada, Monarchia Indiana (Mexico, 1943), 1:38; Jose de Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the Indies (2002), 384.
  65. Adrienne Mayor, Fossil Legends of the First Americans (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005), 97.