This is sure interesting. From the Moscow Times, today:
Lyuba was only about four months old when she died on a full stomach. Ten thousand odd years later she is set to become world famous.
Scientists have hailed the discovery of the baby woolly mammoth, dubbed Lyuba, as one of the finest examples of preserved mammoths ever discovered after it emerged from the melting permafrost in western Siberia.
"There has never been such a find," Pavel Kosintsev, one of the first scientists to see the mammoth....
"The mammoth is an animal that you look at and you see that there is an entire epoch behind it, a huge time period when climate was changing," said Alexei Tikhonov, deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Zoological Institute....
With her trunk still intact, eyes in place and small tufts of fur still on her skin, Lyuba looks more like a museum fake than a link to life in the Ice Age, though her tail seems to have been nipped off.
One hundred and thirty centimeters long, 90 centimeters high [4ft 3in tall] and weighing only 50 kilograms [110lb], the mammoth is almost exactly as it was when it died nearly 10,000 years ago, said Kosintsev....
"The animal died and immediately was buried in a watery area or a bog. There was no decay. She was located there in a frozen state for several thousand years," said Kosintsev. Lyuba likely reappeared to the world after the river's bank slipped at the end of last year, he said.
Lyuba was found almost two months ago on May 15 by Yury Khudi, a nomadic reindeer tribesman near the Yuribei River in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region. Khudi, a Nenets, thought it was a sick reindeer at first and went to investigate, said Kosintsev. When he saw that it was a mammoth, he went to the nearest village to tell of his find....
To keep her from deteriorating, Lyuba is being stored at minus 10 degrees Celsius in an industrial freezer....
Mammoths, believed to be close relatives of the modern day elephant, roamed the earth from almost 5 million years B.C. to just a few thousand years B.C. when they disappeared....
The London Telegraph added:
Tikhonov... said: "In terms of its state of preservation, this is the world's most valuable discovery."...
Some scientists have speculated about an attempt to clone a pure mammoth by fusing the nucleus of a mammoth cell with a modern elephant egg cell stripped of its own DNA.
Dr Ian Barnes of Royal Holloway, University of London, believes that, in the light of the new find, it will be possible to clone a mammoth "in my lifetime". But Dr Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum, who was also at the Yakutsk meeting, said that the DNA would be too "shot to pieces" for this to be done easily.
Lots of intrigue... cloning, climate change, age dating....
Why would anyone want to clone a mammoth? I do find climate change interesting though. I wouldn't mind going tropical for a while.Posted by: Rosie at July 11, 2007 8:51 PM
Cool!!Posted by: Erin at July 11, 2007 9:30 PM
Neat!Posted by: Heather4life at July 11, 2007 11:44 PM
This is fascinating. These must have been such awe inspiring animals. To think our ancestors hunted them for food and clothing. They must have made quite a meal, assuming they didn't kill you first! Its incredible too when you think of the animals that may have survived the dinosaur era longer than thought. There's speculation that dragons may have actually existed, that they were the last survivors of a species of dinosaur.
Climate change? I believe its been going on since creation and the notion that man can control it in any way is laughable.Posted by: Mary at July 12, 2007 7:49 AM
Absolutely awesome. It's so exciting to think about possibly bringing these magnificent creatures back to life...I hope, if it's possible, that I live to see it.Posted by: Lyssie at July 12, 2007 8:32 AM
Imagine! In the next Lord of the Rings movie they can use the real things!Posted by: MK at July 12, 2007 9:04 AM
Imagine! In the next Lord of the Rings movie they can use the real things!Posted by: MK at July 12, 2007 9:05 AM
"Why would anyone want to clone a mammoth?"
To eat it. This could become the next great trend in culinary experimentation..Posted by: Cameron at July 12, 2007 9:35 AM
Poor baby. I believe animals go to heaven also.Posted by: mario at July 12, 2007 11:24 AM
"To eat it. This could become the next great trend in culinary experimentation"
LOL!!!Posted by: Rosie at July 12, 2007 1:05 PM
Well, a big wooly mammoth certainly would have had our ancestors licking their chops!Posted by: Mary at July 12, 2007 2:00 PM
Ok, I'm posting only because this is a topic that I like [paleontology], and have always been interested in...
They've found many frozen Wooly Mammoths in Siberia, and according to one person on an expedition in the early 1800's, they found one that had recently been uncovered and slightly thawed in such good condition that they were able to eat it's flesh without becoming ill.
They've made great strides in paleontology, and there was a show on Discovery a few years back called Raising the Mammoth, in which they excavated a male from the ground. They found perfectly preserved semen, and as far I know, were planning on injecting into a female African Elephant in hopes of breeding a new mammoth generationally.
Also, if you want to look this up, they've recently found preserved dinosaur flesh.
I'll repeat that. Scientists recently found preserved dinosaur flesh.
If you're a paleo-geek like me, you have no idea how excited I am!Posted by: Danny at July 12, 2007 3:12 PM
What do you think of the theory of dragons possibly being survivors of the dinosaur era that finally died out millions of years later and may well have lived among men, thus generating all the legends and myths. You sound like you would have some expertise in this area and I would love to know what you think. Also, are turtles and lizards from the same dinosaur era? Please bear with me, its obvious this is not an area I am well informed in.Posted by: Mary at July 12, 2007 3:32 PM
"What do you think of the theory of dragons possibly being survivors of the dinosaur era that finally died out millions of years later and may well have lived among men, thus generating all the legends and myths. You sound like you would have some expertise in this area and I would love to know what you think. Also, are turtles and lizards from the same dinosaur era? Please bear with me, its obvious this is not an area I am well informed in."
The possibility of dragons is both likely and unlikely. What is possible is that, like the theory on Loch Ness, is that a pterosaur survived the extinction of the dinosaurs and lived onwards throughout the ages, breeding and surviving. That would explain the flying part. Another theory is that medieval people saw elephants, rhinos, and crocodiles and believed them to be dragons. Is it possible that there may have been a species of reptile that we would call dragons? Yes. Unfortunately, we have yet to find any evidence, physical fossil evidence that is, to support this theory. They may not have been able to breathe fire, but if you watch the movie Reign of Fire, they have a better example with natural flames. The blaster beetle is a great example of nature's way to produce flame. Literary evidence can only go so far. Old sailors used to mistake manatees and dugongs for mermaids. We can only assume it's the same for dragons.
As for your other question, yes, lizards and turtles have been around since before the dinosaurs began their reign in the Triassic era. Same with crocdilians. However, snakes didn't evolve until the Cretaceous, in case you ask. Archelon was a species of massive sea turtle closely related to the leatherback, and Postosuchus was considered the crocodilian forerunner to the dinosaurs.
If you want to know more, I'd suggest buying/renting Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Prehistoric Beasts. Both are great, informative series and give really good insight. Another good source of information would be The Dinosaur Heresies by Dr. Robert T. Bakker, and basically anything by Rob Bakker or James Horner.
Hope this helps a bit. Let me know if you got any more questions that delve into the realm of paleontology/zoology/herpetology ^_^ VPosted by: Danny at July 12, 2007 3:55 PM
The Loch Ness monster. What a cool tail!Posted by: Heather4life at July 12, 2007 4:01 PM
TALE!Posted by: Heather4life at July 12, 2007 4:02 PM
Haha, yes, ol' Nessie is giving the Scots some publicity, and cryptozoologists some money to live off of. Gotta love it!Posted by: Danny at July 12, 2007 4:11 PM
Thank you so much for the info. I saw a special on the Discovery channel which looked into the possible existence of dragons as having survived extinction, only to die out later. It explained how they very likely could have flown and even breathed some kind of mixture that was very hot, but not literally fire. It pointed out that cultures the world over have legends of dragons, so there may be some truth to these creatures existing. They must have been very awe inspiring. Its hard to sort truth from myth and legend, and often legends are based on a real animal, person, or event. I was surprised by what you said about turtles and lizards existing prior to the dinosaur era.
Speaking of snakes, I was mortified to discover that my daughter and her roommates have a pet python which my daughter offered to remove from the cage for me. I told her to keep that d----- thing locked up!
I would think the mermaid legends arose from sailors who spent so much time at sea and away from women that even the marine life started to look good!
What is your theory on Nessie? I understand that famous picture was faked and no amount of searching with sonar has ever produced any monster.
I think Nessie is a very real possibility, given the discovery of the coelocanth, a supposedly extinct species of fish, and the Japanese's discovery of a live giant squid. I do believe that a plesiosaur could have survived, and it's very possible that Nessie is actually NessieS, plural. We've found animals that were thought extinct before, and it could happen again with Loch Ness. There were reports of Yetis long before the Bigfoot hoax, and there are rumors in the Amazon of humongous anacondas.
Check this for more info on Nessie.Posted by: Danny at July 12, 2007 5:45 PM
Again, thank you for your info. I appreciate it and I'm very much enjoying our discussion. I'm not surprised about the giant squid. One can only imagine what could very well exist in the oceans. Maybe these were the sea "monsters" sailors often reported, as well as "Nessies". I do believe there is something to the "yeti" reports. Given the vast wilderness, who knows what could have survived there over the centuries.
Speaking of snakes, I saw on Discovery about a man in Asia who was partially devoured by a large snake, something that was not thought possible. I have no doubts large Anocondas in the Amazon may very well exist.
The thing is, Mary, is that there are species of snakes that are large enough humans, and have done so on several occasions. These are mainly the African Rock Python, the Burmese Python, the Anaconda [the world's heaviest and largest snake], and the Reticulated Python [the world's longest snake].
The thing is, people give these snakes a bad rep, and most of them [with the exception of the Reticulated Python] are quite mild mannered and even tempered. With all the time I've spent working with reptiles and boids in particular, retics are some nasty little suckers.
As for the rest, yes, I whole-heartedly agree with you. There are many different species in the ocean that have yet to be discovered, and it is thought that Carcarhias Megaladon [imagine a Great White Shark that's bigger than a semi and could probably swallow one] is still alive in the depths, considering that they've found "Great Whites" that don't look like Great Whites, and are thought to be either young Megaladon, or an entirely different species, or just a genetic "hiccup", if you will.
It's very interesting stuff. I'd suggest looking into it.Posted by: Danny at July 12, 2007 9:47 PM
Jurrassic Park here we come.Posted by: HisMan at July 13, 2007 12:24 AM
I watched that movie when I was about seven years old. It scared the hell out of me. Every time I shut my eyes to go to bed, I pictured a giant eye peering through the window. I'd cover my head with the covers, and then picture those raptors sniffing me out anyway.
As for the mammoth...that's pretty freaking cool.Posted by: Heather B. at July 13, 2007 3:34 AM
Again, thank you. I believe that was in fact a Burmese Python that partially ate a man. I know my daughter's python does nothing but lay under its log, which is where it can stay as far as I'm concerned.
About these snakes being docile. I think people have to remember that these are wild animals, not pets or playthings, and have to be respected as such. The killings I have heard of by "pet" snakes have usually occured because people did not respect these boundaries.
"About these snakes being docile. I think people have to remember that these are wild animals, not pets or playthings, and have to be respected as such. The killings I have heard of by "pet" snakes have usually occured because people did not respect these boundaries."
You are right, in a sense. However, keep in mind that an animal that was hatched and raised in captivity has a much higher potential to be docile and personable. I've worked with many reptiles, and out of the snakes I've listed, the only ones that kept to their cantankerous nature with the retics. But, yes, people do need to respect that these are not a domesticated beast of burden and yes, they can do great harm. Snakes are one of nature's most efficient predators, and if you do not respect them, you will get hurt.
My brother learned this the hard way after dangling my pet boa by it's tail and swinging it in a circle. He suffered a nasty bite to his lip, and still carries a small scar as a memento of his stupidity. I carry scars from my mistakes with the animals I worked with, and I bear them as a badge of pride and humility, because no matter what we want to think, we are not all powerful, and nature selected us to be that way. Out of every species of animal on the planet, we are the least armored, and are only considered deadly because of our higher brain functions and opposable thumbs. However, sheer instinct can negate all that in a split second, and it's a lesson I've never forgotten.
Small wonder your brother got bitten! One could hardly blame the boa for being a tad irate. I'm surprised the boa didn't take a bigger chunk out of him for that one! You're so right about people who don't respect the strength and instincts of animals. They see animals as some kind of Disney characters. You read so often of people who cross barriers in zoos or swim with whales, and are mauled or even killed.
Thank you for your input and info. I have found it very interesting.
No problemo. Thanks to Jill for posting something I actually have an incredible amount of knowledge on!
Gotta go. Jill, keep posting this kind of stuff and I'll come back and make some commotion. Until then, gutten abend!Posted by: Danny at July 13, 2007 2:53 PM
Danny, glad you decided to stay. I like your new name better, btw.Posted by: Jill Stanek at July 14, 2007 8:32 AM
Heh, I hate the name Danny, and the only reason I changed from Dan to SH Dan was when the other Dan showed up and I couldn't think of a different nickname. However, seeing as how there is a Dan who has posted here before my time, I changed my name.
Unfortunately, I'm not staying. I'll check back and read the blogs, but I'm not posting unless it's something I actually have knowledge on, and can contribute to. The mammoth thing was one such thing.
Have a good one, kids! Dan just got done with 8.5 hours of work in a corn field and is in dire need of a shower, a smoke, and a drink of something strong. Later!Posted by: Danny at July 14, 2007 4:32 PM
Don't stray too far! I may still have more questions for you in the future. BTW, my favorite nephew is named Danny.Posted by: Mary at July 15, 2007 9:59 AM
I'm not going to stray too far. I'll check back, and if there are more blogs posted that have to do with fields I know something about [zoology, paleontology, music, etc] I'll be sure to post, ok?
Email me with any other questions. I love being helpful!Posted by: Danny at July 15, 2007 2:26 PM
Squid As Long As a Bus and Weighing 550 Pounds Washes Up on Australian Beach
A squid as long as a bus and weighing 550 pounds washed up on an Australian beach, officials said Wednesday.
"It is a whopper," said Genefor Walker-Smith, a zoologist who studies invertebrates at the Tasmanian Museum.
Giant squid live in waters off southern Australia and New Zealand where a half-ton colossus, believed to be the world's largest, was caught in February. They attract the sperm whales that feed on them.
The dead squid, measuring 3 feet across at its widest point and 26 feet from the tip of its body to the end of its tentacles, was found early Wednesday by a beachcomber at Ocean Beach on the island state of Tasmania's west coast, the museum said.
The squid was expected to be taken to the museum, where DNA and other scientific tests would be carried out before it is preserved and possibly put on public display.
For anyone thinking of a calamari feast, Walker-Smith said giant squid contain high levels of ammonia in their bodies as a buoyancy aid.
"It would not taste very nice at all," she said.
New Zealand fishermen netted a 1,100-pound, 33-foot-long squid in the Southern Ocean in February. It is widely believed to be the largest specimen of the rare and mysterious deep-water species Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, or colossal squid, ever caught.
Experts believe the creatures, which have long been one of the most mysterious denizens of the deep ocean, may grow even bigger up to 46-feet long.
Truth or Fiction? New Loch Ness Sighting
British Man Claims He's Captured New Footage of the Loch Ness Monster Beneath Lake in Scotland
This shadowy something is what someone says is a photo of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. An amateur scientist claims he has captured what Loch Ness Monster watchers say is among the finest footage ever taken of the elusive mythical creature reputed to swim beneath the waters of Scotland's most mysterious lake.
The Loch Ness monster is back and there's video. A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland's most mysterious lake.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water," said Gordon Holmes, the 55-year-old a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who took the video Saturday.
Nessie watcher and marine biologist Adrian Shine viewed the video and hoped to properly analyze it in the coming months.
"I see myself as a skeptical interpreter of what happens in the loch, but I do keep an open mind about these things and there is no doubt this is some of the best footage I have seen," said Shine, of the Loch Ness 2000 center in Drumnadrochit, on the shores of the lake.
Holmes said whatever it was moved at about 6 mph and kept a fairly straight course.
"My initial thought is it could be a very big eel, they have serpent-like features and they may explain all the sightings in Loch Ness over the years."
Loch Ness is surrounded by myth. It's the largest inland body of water in Britain, and at about 750 feet to the bottom, it's even deeper than the North Sea.
"There are a number of possible explanations to the sightings in the loch. It could be some biological creature, it could just be the waves of the loch or it could some psychological phenomenon in as much as we see what we want to see," Shine said.
While many sightings can be attributed to a drop of the local whisky, legends of Scottish monsters date back to one of the founders of the Christian church in Scotland, St. Columba, who wrote of them in about 565 A.D.
More recently, there have been more than 4,000 purported Nessie sightings since she was first caught on camera by a surgeon on vacation in the 1930s.
Since then, the faithful have speculated about it is a completely unknown species, a sturgeon even though they have not been native to Scotland's waters for many years or even a last surviving dinosaur.
Article/Video LinkPosted by: Danny at July 16, 2007 2:32 PM