May 30 2013, 6:45am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
The estimated age of the female mammoth was ten to fifteen thousand years. Dug up from the ice in a far off island in the Arctic, the currently extinct animal was so perfectly preserved that even the blood poured out as if it had never changed form in the thousands of years that had elapsed between the death and discovery. According to the North East Federal University
in Yakutsk, the scientists made an official announcement regarding the surprising finding. The provenance to which this wooly species belonged was the Layakhovsky Isles off the coast of Novosibirsk Archipelago. A large portion of the mammoth was just like it was at the moment of its death from some unknown disease. When the frozen pockets in the belly were punctured with a sharp object the blood came running out in rivulets. It was dark in color and samples of it were collected immediately in test tubes for later tests and microscopic examination. The strange thing was that the temperature was not so low as to preserve the blood when the mammoth was found stuck in the ice. It seems to be the case that the blood may have certain characteristics that caused it to be so well preserved.
Another surprising detail was the state of the meat at the time of recovery. It was so red and fresh that it didn’t appear to have been kept in a suspended frozen state for eons. Parts of the carcass were in a slightly better condition than other portions. It’s been surmised that wooly mammoths went extinct about 10,000 years ago although a few survived for a bit longer in sporadic spots. The genetic makeup of the wooly mammoth has been already deciphered by scientists from tufts of wool found packed within the tundra and permafrost. The discovery of fresh flesh could allow for the prehistoric animal to be recreated by cloning. This conjures the image of a Jurassic Park of the future where all the dinosaurs and saber-toothed tigers not to mention giant wooly mammoths could roam free.
Mammoths were like elephants except for the fact that they were larger and covered with thick matted wool. And they had huge elongated curving tusks. The prehistoric men who hunted them faced a tough and challenging environment in their struggle to survive. This is the first case of a very well preserved specimen found by chance in the extremely cold regions of the Arctic north.
Image Credit: Getty Images
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