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Frozen mammoth, found in Siberia could be of a new species, researchers say

Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha

Fossils found in Siberia of a small mammoth, would be a whole new species, the researchers say, with a number of copy of the “Golden mammoth.”

The woolly mammoth is small and is described as a “pygmy” only seven feet high. The woolly mammoth, on average, between 9 and 11 metres high, with some approaching 15 feet in height, according to TED.

This mammoth was found in Siberia on Kotelny island and could be 50,000 years old, according to experts. Like the rings in a tree, scientists are able to distinguish a mammoth’s age by looking at the rings of the tusks, going so far as to tell when which season the animal died. Dark rings give the creature died during the warmer months.

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According to the Daily Mail, the recently discovered mammoth is the nickname of a “golden mammoth,” because of the color of his fur.

It is now embedded in the undersea permafrost and is only visible at low tide on the island, located between the Laptev and East-Siberian sea.

According To Dr. Albert Protopopov, the head of the Mammoth Fauna Research Department of the Yakutian Academy of Sciences said that it is still the question of whether the mammoth was an anomaly or not, but the carcass will allow them to answer questions.

“We are yet to discover whether this is an anomaly, or something very typical for this area – with an adult mammoth looks like a pygmy,” he told the Siberian Times. “We have reports of small mammoths found in a given area, both the adults and babies. But we were never on a carcass. This is our first chance to study.”

Discoveries of smaller or pygmy mammoth remains are not uncommon. Remains have been found off the coast of California and in the Arctic, but Dr. Protopopov is of the opinion that the new findings a new species, separate from the so-called island effect, which is bandied about by the researchers as the cause of a decline in the population of the mammoths, which died out about 4000 years ago.

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“It is a different thing,” Dr. Protopopov said, when asked about the question of whether the new discovery was made in connection with the mammoth remains found on the Island of Wrangel. “I think our new mammoth is not related to the Wrangel mammoth population. This was a different era and a different matter.”

Although it is not yet known what the researchers learn from the previously mentioned woolly mammoth, some scientists have considered that the reintroduction of a number of the mammoth’s permafrost-preserved DNA could help with climate change.

Speaking with Live Science in May, George Church, a Harvard and MIT geneticist who is the co-founder of gene-editing tool CRISPR, and is the head of the Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival team, said that it might not be desirable, to bring back the essence in its entirety. However, the introduction of a few of its genes to Asian elephants can help increase their tolerance for cold.

“The elephants who lived in the past, elephants and possibly in the future — knock down trees and allowed the cold air to hit the ground and keep the cold in the winter, and they helped the grass grow and reflect the sunlight in the summer,” the Church told the Science. “Those two [factors] combined, can result in a massive cooling of the soil, and a rich ecosystem.”

The Siberian mammoth remains are set to be exhumed from their grave in the next summer.

Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia

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