Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cause Of Death Of Russian Baby Mammoth Discovered

Date:
March 20, 2008
Source:
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency
Summary:
In 2004, the front part of a baby mammoth's body was found in Olchan mine in Russia. There remained only the head, part of the proboscis, the neck area and part of the breast of the baby mammoth's body. 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.

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.

Related Articles


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.

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, 413000900 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. "Cause Of Death Of Russian Baby Mammoth Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318214854.htm>.
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. (2008, March 20). Cause Of Death Of Russian Baby Mammoth Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318214854.htm
Informnauka (Informscience) Agency. "Cause Of Death Of Russian Baby Mammoth Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080318214854.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) U-576, a long-lost German U-boat the U.S. sank in 1942, has been found just 30 miles off North Carolina's coast and near the wreckage of another ship. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins