It went down in the history books as one of the most outrageous feasts of the modern era - but did explorers REALLY eat mammoth in 1951?
Legend has it that New York’s Explorers Club sat down to a meal of mammoth - preserved perfectly in ice for thousands of years.
The dinners - attended by explorers including Neil Armstrong - became legendary for serving exotic foods such as goat eyeballs and fried tarantulas - but the mammoth served in 1951 was the pinnacle of the weird foods enjoyed by the intrepid diners.
But it turns out that they were actually eating sea turtle, scientists say - after DNA analysis of a fragment of leftovers.
Writing in the journal PLOS One, the researchers say, ‘The Yale Peabody Museum holds a sample of meat preserved from the 1951 meal, interestingly labeled as a South American giant ground sloth (Megatherium), not mammoth.
‘We sequenced a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene and studied archival material to verify its identity, which if genuine, would extend the range of Megatherium over 600% and alter our views on ground sloth evolution.
‘Our results indicate that the meat was not mammoth or Megatherium but green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The prehistoric dinner was likely an elaborate publicity stunt.’