Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers indicate the cause of death of the Oimyakon baby mammoth

17.03.2008
On September 27, 2004, the front part of a baby mammoth’s body was found in Olchan mine in the Oimyakon Region of Yakutia. Specialists of the Museum of Mammoth of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North, Academy of Sciences of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), have been thoroughly studying the finding and they have published the first outcomes.

There remained only the head, part of the proboscis, the neck area and part of the breast of the baby mammoth’s body. The body is practically cut off behind the withers and shoulder area. The skin on the head is torn on the forehead and cinciput, the skull is damaged, the proboscis is torn off.

The baby mammoth’s skin is well preserved, it is smooth, greyish-brown, the tawny hair fell out and froze into the ice near the body. Under the skin, there remained muscles and the alveole with a permanent 76 millimeter long tusk, which had come through. Since the replacement of milk-tusks by permanent ones happened with mammoths at the age of one year the earliest, the researchers decided that the baby they had found perished approximately at this age. As the tusk is short, it can be assumed that the Oimyakon mammoth was a female (male’s tusks are longer).

The animal’s remains were investigated by the X-ray computer-aided tomography methods at the National Centre of Medicine in Yakutsk. Roentgenograms allowed to determine the baby’s age more accurately: judging by the teeth state, the mammoth was at least one year old but no more than a year and a half. The baby mammoth was already able to feed on vegetation independently. There are adipose deposits along the neck and practically from the skull foundation through to the withers area, the adipose deposits are up to seven centimetres thick. These deposits form real adipose “pockets” and they get over to the body sides.

... more about:
»Adipose »Oimyakon »deposits »skin »withers

The Stone Age artists often used to draw mammoths with a big hump on the back. Some specialists assume that mammoths laid adipose tissue on the withers like zebu or camels do, others believe that the hump on the back could be the consequence of vigorous muscles development, the third group thinks that mammoths’ “gibbosity” in the drawings of ancient human beings reflects the large mane development. In the Yakutsk researchers’ opinion, the adipose tissue discovered by them on the baby mammoth’s withers is the evidence that mammoths used to accumulate significant adipose deposits particularly in this part of the body. Such deposits helped them to survive the most severe conditions and water shortage during snowless winters.

Judging by radiocarbon dating performed at the University of Groningen (Netherlands), the little mammoth perished during the Kargin interglacial period, 413000±900 years ago. The sediments that contained the mammoth’s dead body preserved pollen, which mainly belonged to herbaceous and shrubby plants. The little mammoth lived among sedge and motley grass swamps. Now, these places are covered by larch woodland with a touch of alder-trees.

Specialists have checked the Oimyakon mammoth for presence of particularly dangerous infections, but found nothing. The baby did not die from an infectious disease. Apparently, it got stuck and drowned in a waterlogged place. Complete hair shedding and skin exfoliation on some parts of the body testify to the fact that the mammoth’s body stayed in water for a long time. Most probably, the little mammoth drowned in autumn, because its body froze into the ice soon and then it was covered by mudslide, thanks to which the body remained in the frozen state.

At present, the baby mammoth is still frozen. The researchers are sure that integrated study of this object will provide the scientific community with a lot of new data about the height, development, molecular and genetic peculiarities of the mammoths, as well as multiple data on paleo-ecology of the late pleistocene.

Olga Myznikova | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

Further reports about: Adipose Oimyakon deposits skin withers

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified
26.03.2019 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Decoding the genomes of duckweeds: low mutation rates contribute to low genetic diversity
26.03.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New gene potentially involved in metastasis identified

Gene named after Roman goddess Minerva as immune cells get stuck in the fruit fly’s head

Cancers that display a specific combination of sugars, called T-antigen, are more likely to spread through the body and kill a patient. However, what regulates...

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Searching for disappeared anti-matter: A successful start to measurements with Belle II

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Extremely accurate measurements of atom states for quantum computing

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Listening to the quantum vacuum

26.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>