Mammoth's internal organs found perfectly preserved
Saturday 12 April 2008
Russian scientists have obtained the most detailed pictures so far of the insides of a prehistoric animal, with the help of a baby mammoth called Lyuba found immaculately preserved in the Russian Arctic.
The mammoth is named after the wife of the hunter who found her last year. The body was shipped to Russia in February from Japan, where it was studied using computer tomography in a process similar to one doctors use to scan patients.
"We could see for the first time how internal organs are located inside a mammoth," said Alexei Tikhonov, deputy director of the Russian Academy of Science's Zoological Institute, who has been leading the project.
"Her internal organs were well preserved – the heart was seen distinctly with all its ventricles and atria, as well as the liver and its veins," Mr Tikhonov said. "This is the best preserved specimen not only of the mammoth but of any prehistoric animal."
The mammoth species has been extinct since the Ice Age. Tests on Lyuba showed she was fed on milk and was three to four months old when she died 37,000 years ago in what is now the Yamalo-Nenetskiy region in north-central Russia. The scans showed her airways and digestive system were clogged with silt, indicating that she drowned.
Mr Tikhonov said: "I believe the genetic map [of the mammoth] will be decoded within a year or two. Lyuba will be exhibited in Salekhard [capital of Yamalo-Nenetskiy] starting this summer in a case with sub-zero temperatures."
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Python eats croc: when two (or more) species go to war - the 12 most amazing animal battles ever recorded
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...