Scientists will attempt to clone a 43,000 year-old woolly mammoth

Posted by K R on

An international team of researchers in Yakutsk, Russia are currently examining a remarkable specimen — a 43,000 year-old woolly mammoth. The animal was discovered last year embedded in a block of ice on Lyakhovsky Island, in the far north of Siberia. The amazing state of preservation has led the team to say they have a realistic chance to clone a mammoth. The last woolly mammoths went extinct about 4000 years ago, but were plentiful throughout Asia and North America until about 10,000 years ago. Their numbers were so great that frozen mammoth bodies show up fairly frequently in certain areas of Russia, just like this recent find. A combination of human expansion and a warming climate are believed to have led to the mammoth’s demise. When the team did its initial autopsy of the mammoth they were shocked to find intact soft tissue like muscle, fat, and cartilage. More importantly, there are intact blood vessels that still have mammoth blood flowing through them. Incredibly, this creature has been better preserved in ice for 43,000 years than most human bodies are after six months in the ground. via

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