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Complete baby mammoth found


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#1    Owlscrying

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 07:39 AM

July 11
Siberia - Scientists were yesterday hailing the sensational discovery of a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth, which died around 10,000 years ago and was found in the frozen tundra of northern Russia. Experts said the six-month-old female calf was a rare complete specimen. The animal's trunk and eyes are intact. It even has fur.

A reindeer herder, Yuri Khudi, stumbled across the carcass in May in a virtually inaccessible part of north-western Siberia.

Extinct woolly mammoths - and giant tusks - have turned up in Siberia for centuries. But it is unusual for a complete example to be recovered. The last major find was in 1997 when a family in the neighbouring Taymyr Peninsula came across a tusk attached to what turned out to be a 20,380-year-old mammoth carcass.

The latest 130cm tall, 50kg Siberian specimen appears to have died just as the species was heading for extinction during the last ice age.

Global warming has made it easier for woolly mammoth hunters to hack the animal out of Russia's thawing permafrost.

Mammoths first appeared around 4.8m years ago. Most of them died out 12,000 years ago at the end of the Pleistocene era.
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#2    Princess Serenity

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 07:16 PM

That's kinda cool. I'm glad they found the little thing totally complete.

I wonder how it died.


#3    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 06:35 PM

That's a really interesting discovery. I didn't realise that it was so rare to find a wooly mammoth in such a complete state.  huh.gif  I hope there's more news on the calf soon...could they possibly determine the cause of death from the remains??  original.gif

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#4    Juliet_Capulet

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 07:20 PM

are there any pictures?

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#5    stevewinn

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:49 PM

Hi all,


Forgive me if this is a stupid question but, seeing that the Mammoth is in great condition is it possible to extract DNA and maybe cross it with an Elephant or something and bring back the mammoth,? I'd love to see it happen,

heres a link to a picture

http://www.russia-ic.com/news/show/4335/


stay safe

steve

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#6    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:03 PM

Quote

Forgive me if this is a stupid question but, seeing that the Mammoth is in great condition is it possible to extract DNA and maybe cross it with an Elephant or something and bring back the mammoth,? I'd love to see it happen,

heres a link to a picture

Wow! That's really beautifully preserved. It just looks like it died yesterday, not thousands of years ago. It's truly amazing!

As for the DNA thing, I've often wondered too whether the DNA could be used to bring back an extinct animal. Maybe it depends on how much DNA can be extracted from the animal?? Would it not be a cross elephant/woolly mammoth if that was the case, and not a true woolly mammoth? Anyway, the elephant DNA could eventually be bred out of the woolley mammoth I suppose (I think you're supposed to be able to breed something out in eight generations, or something like that, but that's when you're breeding with one pure breed - in this case the woolly mammoth - but there wouldn't be a pure woolly mammoth to breed with, so it could take longer than eight generations). It would be completely fascinating if they bring back the woolly mammoth, though!  grin2.gif

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#7    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 09:56 AM

I thought I'd add this here, as I came across a couple of photographs of the baby woolly mammoth being examined in the Arctic city of Salekhard.

Link 1

Link 2

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#8    stevewinn

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 10:40 AM

Hi,

mr mummy,
Thanks for pictures, the condition of the Mammoth looks great, i hope they can extract the DNA and if they cross it with a elephant, i think even if it takes a few generations to make the breed pure it would be worth it,

stay safe

steve.

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#9    Legatus Legionis

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 03:14 PM

great pic , great find. i hope they put it in a subzero temp to better preserve the mammoth.


#10    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 03:14 PM

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...i hope they can extract the DNA and if they cross it with a elephant, i think even if it takes a few generations to make the breed pure it would be worth it...

I've just thought: if you always bred a half elephant / half woolly mammoth with another half elephant / half woolly mammoth, the offspring would always be half elephant / half woolly mammoth. There isn't a pure bred woolly mammoth about, so the elephant DNA would always still be present in the offspring regardless of how many times they were bred.  sad.gif  I think there are other ways to do it, though, other than cross-breeding. I was wondering if there was a possible way of using cloning techniques to breed the woolly mammoth? I don't know much about how the DNA techniques work, but even if at most they could only breed a cross elephant-woolly mammoth it would still be interesting!  yes.gif

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#11    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 03:21 PM

Quote

great pic , great find. i hope they put it in a subzero temp to better preserve the mammoth.

I don't think that they put these types of animals in any special display cases once they've been removed from subzero tempratures and moved to be exhibited in museums. Maybe they just spray them with special preservatives, or something??  huh.gif

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#12    angrycrustacean

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 04:50 PM

Quote

Hi all,


Forgive me if this is a stupid question but, seeing that the Mammoth is in great condition is it possible to extract DNA and maybe cross it with an Elephant or something and bring back the mammoth,? I'd love to see it happen,

heres a link to a picture

http://www.russia-ic.com/news/show/4335/


stay safe

steve


I can't be bothered to find a source at the moment, but I read somewhere that this specimen contained no usable DNA.

If I recall correctly, they essentially need an intact sperm or egg specimen from a mammoth in order to clone it. Unfortunately it doesn't work like Jurassic park where you can just clone from anything.

Quote

I don't think that they put these types of animals in any special display cases once they've been removed from subzero tempratures and moved to be exhibited in museums. Maybe they just spray them with special preservatives, or something??  huh.gif


Nope, they need to be handled carefully and kept in conditions similar to where they were discovered or their condition will start to deteriorate. Specimens such as Otzi suffer damage even from limited time exposure to room temperature.

Basically, imagine freezing a steak for a thousand years and then trying to keep it from going rancid when it's unthawed. You could use preservatives but these might alter the structure of the tissue and leave you with a 1000-year-old steak with some very strange properties - it's easier and safer to just keep it frozen.

Edited because I perenially fail at typing.

Edited by angrycrustacean, 15 July 2007 - 04:52 PM.

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#13    Mr. Mummy's Merry Maiden!

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 11:57 AM

Quote

Nope, they need to be handled carefully and kept in conditions similar to where they were discovered or their condition will start to deteriorate. Specimens such as Otzi suffer damage even from limited time exposure to room temperature.

Apparently, the baby woolly mammoth is to be sent to Tokyo University. there's a short video clip here! They appear to be hopeful in extracting useful DNA to use with an Asian elephant, but the video was posted on 10th July, so it may have been that they've discovered the DNA is unusable since then. Still, it's a nice little video clip.  original.gif

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