In Arctic Siberia, the frozen ground melts at an increasing speed every year. In doing so, it releases million-year-old fossils that were bound to disappear. Embarked in this race with the melting ice at the far end of Russia, the Mammuthus team takes on the challenge in order to preserve a threatened heritage.

Mammuthus 2010-2014


Mammuthus Expeditions is an expedition program dedicated to salvaging fossils that have lain encased in the Siberian permafrost for tens of thousands of years.

Through studying this rare and fragile heritage we stand to learn much about our planet. In deciphering the fossils’ secrets we gain valuable tools to advance several areas of major scientific investigation today, notably in the Environmental Sciences: climate change, the mechanisms of biodiversity, evolution of species and ecological shifts.


Siberian terra incognita

The range of biodiversity at the end of the Pleistocene (including the mammoth, rhinoceros, horse, wolf and many other species) lies preserved in the frozen Arctic soil. The conservation of specimens is exceptional due to many factors unique to Siberia, including the extreme cold and geology of the region’s soil. Operating in these remote regions requires specialized knowledge and experience.

An encounter between explorer Bernard Buigues and Professor Yves Coppens fifteen years ago first gave rise to the idea for Mammuthus Expeditions. Combining passions for exploration and science with the heritage of this mythical polar region, the adventure to unveil the Siberian terra incognita was born.

A heritage in peril

Exploration and Science are today facing a new challenge – the fossils themselves are under threat. Climate change is affecting the natural equilibria of the tundra. The Arctic summers are lasting longer, accelerating the thawing of the permafrost as well as exposing the millennia-old relics to the ravages of the elements and human trafficking.The Mammuthus team is running in a race against the clock.


> 2010-2014 Booklet in pdf