Blood sample extracted from preserved woolly mammoth

Credit: Semyon Grigoriev

Paleontologists recently found a 10,000-year-old Siberian woolly mammoth on the remote Lyakhovsky Islands off the northeast coast of the Russian mainland. This adult female mammoth likely died after getting caught in a swamp or other body of water and was extremely well-preserved by ice as a result. Bad news for the mammoth, of course, but excellent news for scientists.

This finding represents a milestone for researchers in the field because they were able to gather a huge amount of new information about the species — specifically, they collected actual liquid blood samples from the mammoth. Now that scientists will be able to study mammoth blood with ease, the chances of bringing populations of these furry giants back from extinction could dramatically improve. This is huge, people (pun intended).

Semyon Grigoriev, the head scientist at Russia's Northeast Federal University (NEFU), snapped pictures of the various samples you'll see in the gallery below. Finding flowing blood and muscle tissue is significant, but Grigoriev also hopes to find at least one living cell. The team will conduct extensive reasearch to learn more about mammoths, and could possibly use the new information to bring about de-extinction.

Siberian Times, via RT

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