Some researchers have doubts that mammoths lived in the cold climate zones. Recently, Russian scientists have received strong evidence of woolly mammoths’ frost-resistance – they possessed sebaceous glands. The trip to visit mammoths was paid by the International Scientific and Technical Center, and the researchers’ search for sebaceous glands was supported by the Federal Target Scientific and Technical Program entitled “Investigations and Developments for Science and Engineering Priority Guidelines in 2002-2006”.
Specialists of the VECTOR State Research Center for Virology and Biotechnology and the Zoological Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences) have discovered sebaceous glands in the skin of woolly mammoths, the scientific community unsuccessfully looking for sebaceous glands for more than a hundred years. As sebaceous glands are an instrument of adaptation to cold climate, the discovery by Russian scientists serves a convincing argument in the dispute whether the mammoths did live in the frost.
The doubting researchers claim that we can restore appearance of zoolites, but not the conditions they used to live in. According to some data, the ice age climate was much warmer then it is believed, and therefore, the mammoths probably did not have to endure long ice-cold winters. However, questions arise not only about the climate of Beringia, but also about the mammoth’s constitution. Although its appearance is habitual to us, many physiological peculiarities of this fur mountain with tusks are hard to reconstruct. For example, researchers failed to find mammoth’s cutaneous, sudoriferous and sebaceous glands. The hair was known to be present, but sebaceous glands accompanying it were not in place. However, the elephant, mammoth’s alive next-of-kin, does not possess them. Nevertheless, mammoths used to live in other latitudes and they are somehow entitled to differ anatomically from elephants.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
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