NEFU researcher acquainted participants of Parliament hearings with studies of mammoth fauna

photo: from the archive of NEFU Newsroom

  • 25 November 2021
  • 18

NEFU researcher acquainted participants of Parliament hearings with studies of mammoth fauna

On November 23, Parliament hearings were held, the participants of which discussed the legal regulation of the collection, rational use and sale of fossil remains of mammoth fauna. Researcher of North-Eastern Federal University Maksim Cheprasov made a presentation on the unique discoveries of mammoth fauna animals from the collection of the Mammoth Museum and the research conducted.

The Mammoth Museum was organized in 1991, which allowed scientists to carry out comprehensive studies of mammoth fauna discoveries in Yakutia; before that, all the objects were exported outside the republic for study, said Maksim Cheprasov, head of the laboratory. He drew attention to the fact that the number of mammoth fauna discoveries is increasing, and their main part belongs to the XXI century, which is due to the steady demand for woolly mammoth tusk in the world market.

In recent years, at least five mammoths with soft tissues, three woolly rhinos, three bison and three horses, elks have been discovered, including a large number of carnivorous and small mammals. Most of them were found in the Arctic regions of Yakutia. All these finds were discovered by local residents who are collecting mammoth tusks. When they come across such finds, they immediately contact the scientific community. If the find is of scientific value, an expedition is organized to the place of discovery to excavate it, NEFU representative said.

“One of the valuable discoveries of the Mammoth Museum was found at the Batagaika site in the Verkhoyansk region. This site, which has no analogues in the world, represents a depression with a diameter of more than a kilometer and continues to expand as a result of natural thawing. Over the years, it has given us four unique discoveries: the Verkhoyansk horse and the Batagai bison calf in 2009, the lemming in 2012 and the foal of an ancient horse in 2018,” shared Maksim Cheprasov.

It should be noted that the Mammoth Museum is collaborating with researchers from Vector Scientific Center - an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation was signed in February 2021. Currently, sampling of ancient mammals found on the territory of Yakutia has been carried out. This will help establish evolutionary relationships between modern and ancient microorganisms and viruses, as well as to assess the biological safety at the sites of permafrost degradation.

Author: Anna BAISAKOVA, NEFU Newsroom

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