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Muskoxen and Their Hunters a History

by Peter C. Lent

  • ISBN: 9780806131702
  • ISBN10: 0806131705

Muskoxen and Their Hunters a History

by Peter C. Lent

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Oklahoma Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780806131702
  • ISBN10: 0806131705
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Description: Muskoxen, shaggy denizens of the Far North, are creatures long enveloped in myth. In this first major work on the muskox, Peter C. Lent presents a comprehensive account of how its fortunes have been intertwined with our own since the glaciations of the Pleistocene era.

For aboriginal hunters from Alaska across Canada to Greenland and Eurasia, muskoxen have provided necessities -- food, fuel, and horn implements. Likewise, they often staved off starvation later explorers. Muskoxen also were romantic figures, epitomizing the rigors of life at the limits. In the modern world, the muskox has been the focus of domestication efforts and a cottage industry based on its fine underwool, comparable to cashmere.

Drawing from paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, and Indian and Inuit lore, Lent examines muskoxen in prehistory. Changing concepts in biology, conservation and management, animal husbandry, and contemporary arctic economics complete the picture. In uniting these themes, Lent refutes the idea that the muskox is an "Ice Age relict," arguing that it was never numerous, even during the glacial era. Through the years, human hunting further depressed muskox numbers and limited natural range expansion. Yet theirs is ultimately a conservation success story. Once considered an endangered species, the muskox today has an expanding economic role in northern lands.

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