Russian scientists recently discovered a well-preserved adult female wooly mammoth with flowing blood and red muscle tissue still intact. This discovery has caused a stir in the scientific community as well as begun debated over whether or not the mammoth’s DNA should be used to clone the long-extinct creature.
The mammoth was found surrounded by ice in Siberia.
During the excavation, scientists were able to find flowing blood—which is unheard of in previous discoveries of frozen prehistoric creatures. The fully-grown mammoth was found on one of the New Siberian Islands northeast of Russia. The scientists say they discovered the dark blood encapsulated in ice just below the mammoth’s belly. Researchers broken open the ice containing the blood with a poll pick, and we shocked when the liquid flowed out. It was particularly surprising because the temperature was -10°C.
Head of the Museum of Mammoths of the North Eastern Federal University, Semyon Grigoriev, said of the discovery: “It can be assumed that the blood of mammoths had some cryo-protective properties.” This means that the mammoth’s blood did not freeze because of some biological mechanism that protected the blood from extreme cold.
Blood from the excavation was collected in a test tube to be sent for further analysis. There have been no updates on the results as of yet.
According to scientists, in addition to flowing blood, the muscle tissue of the mammoth carcass was well preserved, still coloured the red of natural fresh meat. The mammoth’s lower body was preserved in pure ice, which might explain how it was so perfectly preserved, but the upper body was found in the tundra.
The recent discovery brings the total of discovered adult mammoth’s up to three, but this is the first that has had flowing blood and fresh looking tissue that could make cloning the species a possibility.