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Nature & Environment Russian Scientists Discover Preserved Mammoth with Free-Flowing Blood

Russian Scientists Discover Preserved Mammoth with Free-Flowing Blood

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First Posted: May 30, 2013 04:44 AM EDT
Russian Scientists Discover Preserved Mammoth With Free-Flowing Blood
A team of Russian scientists have unearthed a well preserved body of an adult female mammoth that is 10,000 to 15,000 year old. (Photo : North Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk)

A team of Russian scientists have unearthed a well-preserved body of an adult female mammoth that is 10,000 to 15,000 years old. What is interestingly surprising about this discovery, made on the remote Arctic Ocean, is that it was so well-preserved that the mammoth's soft tissues were still quite fresh and the specimen's blood is perfectly preserved in the ice around it.

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The discovery was made by Russia's North Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk during a joint paleontological excavation together with the Russian Geographic Society on Novosibirsk Islands, located in Siberia.

This newly-discovered frozen carcass of mammoth is known to be the best-preserved mammoth in the history of paleontology. Apart from this, what surprised the researchers was that blood flowed freely from the body of the specimen when they examined it.

"The blood is very dark, it was found in ice cavities below the belly and when we broke these cavities with a poll pick, the blood came running out," Semyon Grigoriev, head of the expedition and chairman of the Mammoth Museum, said in the NEFU news release.

Grigoriev states that the mammoth is considered as one of the most well-preserved ancient mammals of all time due to its free-flowing blood.

"The fragments of muscle tissues, which we've found out of the body, have a natural red color of fresh meat. The reason for such preservation is that the lower part of the body was underlying in pure ice, and the upper part was found in the middle of tundra. We found a trunk separately from the body, which is the worst-preserved part," Grigoriev explains.

The researchers predict that the mammoth fell into the water or got trapped in a swamp, due to which she died. As a result of this, the lower parts of the body, including the jaw and the tongue tissue, are very well preserved. 

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