Mormon studies, Book of Mormon, animals
When the Book of Mormon first appeared, skeptics said that references to horses, asses, elephants, and other animals (such as swine and cows) were out of place. During the first century after its publication, Book of Mormon critics argued that such animals never existed anywhere in the Americas before the arrival of Columbus and western Europeans in the late fifteenth century. In time, however, scientific discoveries showed that species of horses, asses, elephants, and other animals had once been present in North America, although dating to an earlier period than that covered in the Book of Mormon. Encouraged by such discoveries, the present authors and some other specialists reasoned that future research and investigation would show that some of these species survived into historical times consistent with the account in the Book of Mormon.
Miller, Wade E. and Roper, Matthew
"Animals in the Book of Mormon: Challenges and Perspectives,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 56:
4, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol56/iss4/7