Scientists are now closer than ever to bringing an ice age species back to life. Researchers from the Northeast Federal University in Yakutsk found liquid blood in a 10,000-year-old mammoth discovered off the coast of northeast Russia. With the help of a team of South Korean scientists, they plan to use the liquid blood to clone a woolly mammoth.
Semyon Grigoriev, the head of the expedition that discovered the mammoth said, "The fragments of muscle tissues, which we've found out of the body, have a natural red color of fresh meat. The reason for such preservation is that the lower part of the body was underlying in pure ice."
Grigoriev theorizes that the animal's blood was still intact and in liquid form due to cryoprotectant properties of the blood and tissues. Cryoprotectants are also found in modern Arctic and Antarctic species of fish and amphibian and protect the animals from damage due to freezing temperatures.
"We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died. Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw, and tongue tissue, was preserved very well," Grigoriev said. He believes the specimen to be "the best preserved mammoth in the history of paleontology."
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