Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Biotech Science

Baby Mammoth Found Intact 227

knoll99 writes "Scientists unveiled the discovery Wednesday of a baby mammoth found in the permafrost of north-west Siberia. The remains of the six-month-old female mammoth were discovered in a remarkable state of preservation on the Yamal peninsula of Russia in May, a Reuters report said. The specimen is believed to be the best of its kind to date."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Baby Mammoth Found Intact

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:30PM (#19832305)
    some scrambled T-rex eggs, but then again I'm just that type of mutha fuckin balla.
    • by painworthy ( 979388 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:39PM (#19832411)
      In other news, Rosie O' Donnell still reported to be missing.

      Criminologists believe that she may have been abducted, but a truck powerful enough to hold such capacity is not known to man.
    • [Go well with] some scrambled T-rex eggs
      You're not that far off- modern people have eaten long-frozen mastadon. I forget who it was- either my AP Bio teacher or my friend's dad (a Bio Prof at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks) reports that it's quite good.
  • Tissue and fluids? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by An Ominous Coward ( 13324 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:32PM (#19832325)
    The Jurassic Park-esque cloning talk is definitely going to be the focus of most of the discussion, but have any of the articles mentioned how well the tissues, organs, and fluids are preserved? This seems like an extraordinary chance to find hard evidence on what caused their extinction.
  • Turkey Baster.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Time to extract the DNA and impregnate an African elephant to mess with nature in a way we shouldn't.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by JebusIsLord ( 566856 )
      According to TFA, they can't because they need intact cells, and they'll all have burst from the freezing process.
      • Biologists are getting good at sequencing [] DNA very fast. This is done by breaking many copies of the DNA up into little overlapping pieces which are separately sequenced; then these overlapping subsequences are fit together, like a puzzle. A bunch of mostly intact DNA would be a lot like a bunch of mostly intact copies of the same puzzle. I would expect that it should be possible to get a completely correct sequence as long as the DNA in some of the cells isn't too badly damaged. They could also get a l
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by djupedal ( 584558 )
        "...and they'll all have burst from the freezing process."

        Technically, cell rupture occurs as a result of the thawing process, and is not related directly to freezing.

        It is possible to control thawing and avoid cell rupture if an organism is found while still originally frozen. I suspect something such as this 6 month old Mammoth has been subjected to more than one cycle of being frozen and thawed out.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Technically, cell rupture occurs as a result of the thawing process, and is not related directly to freezing.

          Technically cell rupture occurs when water-ice crystals form at a cellular level under natural low-temperature conditions.... Imagine pretty snowflakes, then think of them from a cellular-scale persepective wherin they resemble nothing so much as a mass of sharp, glass-like, shurikens ... When the water in and around every cell turns into that, you get cell rupture and massive tissue destruction.

          Most cryogenic techniques focus on methods to control or eliminate crystal formation in the tissue (ie replacin

      • Surely, for cloning, you just need an in-tact cell nucleus, not the entire cell?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheMeuge ( 645043 )
        You don't need intact cells, but rather fairly intact nuclei. Nucleus is a more robust structure than the cell membrane, and I would't be surprised if we could find relatively intact nuclei in the tissue, depending on the amount of time that passed between the animal's death and the freezing of the body.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      "...way we shouldn't."

      Says who?

    • Re:Turkey Baster.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by John Meacham ( 1112 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:14PM (#19832715) Homepage
      not at all, humans killed off mammoths in the first place, brining them back would be righting a wrong of sorts.

      Of course, what I _really_ want to see brought back is the giant ground sloth []
      Imagine a huge furry clawed creature the size of a bull elephant wandering around on its hind legs towering over 20 feet tall. I can't wait.
    • Assuming we could get intact DNA, have we ever cloned a living animal in the uterus of a closely related species? Beyond that, the hormonal and chemical environment created by the mother has a huge effect on a developing fetus. I wouldn't expect the clone to come out anything like its descendant.
    • You ever seen a male african elephant? You'll need a lot more than a turkey baster!
  • I've heard that scientists hope to extract DNA from a mammoth and then use that to make one (by means of a female elephant). I wonder if there are still scientists hoping to clone a mammoth, and if so, I wonder if this baby mammoth has some good DNA (to date, all known mammoths' DNA had degraded too much for use).
    • Are mammoths and elephants even closely enough related for this to work? Wouldn't the body just detect the mammoth embryo (oxymoron) as a foreign substance and try to get rid of it. We have enough trouble with transplanting organs from the same species, I can't imagine you'd have much luck growing a fetus from one species in the womb of another species. Also, since the DNA specimens are so degraded, what's the chance that they could fill in the holes in the DNA with some other animal (possibly an Elephan
      • Re:Cloning (Score:4, Informative)

        by wile_e_wonka ( 934864 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:07PM (#19832633)
        No idea. However, I just googled: mammoth elephan cloning and found some interesting things to read on the topic. From the first result:

        October 17, 1999:
        A team of French, American, Dutch and Russian paleontologists successfully airlifted a male, 23 tonne (25 ton) woolly mammoth from its grave in Siberia where it had been frozen for 20,000 years. It was almost complete except for its head which had been exposed to air in the past. Since the species has been extinct for over 10,000 years, some scientists have proposed that attempts be made to breed a living mammoth from DNA, sperm or cell nucleus retrieved from the carcass. A modern elephant ovum would be used, because it is the closest living relative to the mammoth.
        This, sounds like the story I read about in which the scientists later decided the DNA was too degraded to use. As of the time I read the story the scientists were supposedly just hoping for a better specimen to come along. Perhaps they have one now.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild ( 1046184 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:38PM (#19832393) Journal
    Let's start a petition: I promised my kids a baby Mammoth ride.
    • I won't rest until I've eaten a McMammoth with extra fries.
      • by jamesh ( 87723 )
        Dammit... you beat me to it.

        Of course, the McMammoth would only come in a supersized variety, topped with a poached condor egg.
  • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:42PM (#19832427)
    It seems the the Siberian mammoth population has tripled in the past 6 months...
  • clone it (Score:3, Funny)

    by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:44PM (#19832441) Homepage
    clone it. clone it! clone it!! what good is all this "science" if we don't CLONE IT!!!
  • How should it be prepared? I'm sure whatever they decide, it will be delicious.
  • Not only humans made mamooths extinct, but we also unearth all of their remains so that the next intelligent species after our own extinction won't find any of them, at least not in good shape.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      they will find them laid out and properly identified, so really we're doing a service.

    • It's ok! Believe me, they will discover something even better!

      The next intelligent species will find us and be amazed at how many human corpses they've found lying around next to an artifact with what seems to be a mice-shaped object in their hand. It might take them a while to guess what we were doing, unless Slashdot plans to be around by the year five million.
      • The next intelligent species will find us and be amazed at how many human corpses they've found lying around next to an artifact with what seems to be a mice-shaped object in their hand. It might take them a while to guess what we were doing, unless Slashdot plans to be around by the year five million

        What do you think caused our extinction? Not Digg for sure...

      • The extinction of the human species will come when a nuclear missile silo fires up all its warheads after its Micro$oft embedded OS crashes with a blue screen of death.
      • The next intelligent species will find us and be amazed at how many human corpses they've found lying around next to an artifact with what seems to be a mice-shaped object in their hand. It might take them a while to guess what we were doing,

        I think what it has in its other hand will be a significant clue.
  • by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:47PM (#19832469) Homepage
    God must have put it there just to drive fundamentalists crazy ;-)
  • Ray Romano (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @07:49PM (#19832491)
    Is that you ?
  • Nobody in that video seems to be too concerned about the girl thawing and starting to rot. I'd expect it to rot in short order.
  • This was reported on the internet super-crawl-way about 6 days ago!
  • You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
  • by heretic108 ( 454817 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:12PM (#19832695)
    ...was the discovery, 5 metres away from the mammoth, of an inscribed granite slate. Archaeologists were set to work on translating the inscriptions, and came up with a bulletin with the headline:

    Climate Change A "Myth"
    Coming Ice Age a "Fabrication"

    -- Energy Company CEO
  • not really (Score:5, Funny)

    by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:16PM (#19832737) Homepage

    Baby Mammoth Found Intact
    except that it's dead...
  • A Mammoth? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:16PM (#19832739) Homepage Journal
    A Mammoth? That's huge.
    • by Walt Dismal ( 534799 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @08:39PM (#19832927)
      Technically, it's not a Giant Baby Mammoth but the Economy Size Baby Mammoth, which feeds between 4 to 6 caveman families. Keep frozen until use. Do Not Refreeze.

      Oven Preparation Instructions:

      1. Place on large spit.

      2. Build really big fire.

      3. Keep Ugg, Son of Hoogah and his Sister Dimbo, away from fire.

      Microwave Preparation Instructions:

      (Hey, do you think we're stoopid? Cavemen didn't HAVE microwaves. They only had rotisserie cookers.)

      Microwave Mammoth NOT RECOMMENDED.

      For delicious mammoth recipes, write: Creation Science Cooking Institute, Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Dead as a doorknob, but yeah, otherwise intact.

  • Dude what the hell are you trying to listen for ..there is no heartbeat it's been dead for 10,000+ years
  • I want to share this discovery with my children which are very interested in dinosaurs and past forms of life that populated the earth ages ago.

    I'd like to have more pictures than the currently released.

    If you find a good source of pictures please reply to this post. Thanks.

    I can tell that they are going to be very excited about this!!

    and they will ask me tons of questions! =:-|
  • Will it blend?

    (sorry, i just saw... never mind, my fault...)
  • As opposed to all of the ones they've found that have been neutered?
  • by gomiam ( 587421 ) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @10:25PM (#19833753)
    ...Pravda would have commented that the mammoth was so well preserved that the ones who found it were able to avidly eat its meat. And few would wonder what drives someone to eat raw unfrozen mammoth meat.

    With apologies to Alexander Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag archipelago".

  • What's the state of the art in DNA from recently extinct animals (like saber-tooth tigers and mammoths)? Are these animals firmly placed in current cladistic taxonomy? Are there still cool things to be learned from their DNA?

  • A six month old, frozen, abandoned mammoth? Where were the parents?
  • Am I the only one who thinks the title of this article should've been "Baby Mammoth REMAINS found Intact?" I was so mislead :)

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell