The mammoth skin, found on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, could be a material to clone mammoth

  • 08 October 2015
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The mammoth skin, found on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, could be a material to clone mammoth

Photo: Svetlana PAVLOVA / NEFU Newsroom

On October 7, at a meeting with journalists members of the expedition "North Oykumena" of North-Eastern Federal University told about unique findings that may be the first steps to new discoveries.

"The Lyakhovsky Islands are considered to be the center of the mammoth continent. Here is the world's greatest concentration of mammoths’ remains, so we chose this area to carry out spot investigations", the head of the expedition, head of the laboratory "NEFU Mammoth Museum" Semyon Grigoriev said.

During the expedition, six skeletal remains of mammoths were found. One of the unique discoveries for the study of ancient animals became a mammoth skin. "Skin is primarily interesting to us for the project "The Mammoth Rebirth", because our Korean colleagues believe that this skin is the best material for cloning attempts by isolation of living cells", the expedition leader Semyon Grigoriev said.

Also, the tusk of pygmy mammoth was discovered. According to the participants, approximately its growth does not exceed two meters. "The tusk belongs to the old mammoth. Even experienced paleontologist Pavel Nikolsky said that for the first time saw so pygmy mammoth. We have to figure out what it is: some micropopulation or individual feature of this particular mammoth, we will find out", Semyon Grigoriev said.

In addition, such findings as embryonic tooth of unborn baby mammoth, tooth of trogontherii mammoth and others will be transported to NEFU Mammoth Museum of Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North.

The expedition "North Oykumena" worked in the lower reaches of the Yana River, which is considered the world's northernmost Paleolithic site nowadays. The main research took place on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, where numerous exhibits were collected.

The expedition was conducted under a two million rubles grant of the Russian Geographical Society with the participation of experts from five countries, it started on August 11 and ended on September 29.

Author: Uliana EVSEEVA, NEFU Newsroom

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