An expedition led by Russian scientists earlier this month uncovered the well-preserved carcass of a female mammoth on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean.
Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the expedition, said the animal died at the age of around 60 some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, and that it was the first time that an old female had been found.
But what was more surprising was that the carcass was so well preserved that it still had blood and muscle tissue.
“When we broke the ice beneath her stomach, the blood flowed out from there, it was very dark,” Professor Grigoryev, who is a scientist at the Yakutsk-based Northeastern Federal University, said.
“This is the most astonishing case in my entire life. How was it possible for it to remain in liquid form? And the muscle tissue is also red, the colour of fresh meat,” he added.
As far as I can tell, it has not been confirmed that this is blood. I’m not even clear if it could be blood or body fluid or just liquid that has leached through the carcass. If it was frozen solid for thousands of years, could it be? So, this is a very interesting story but as with almost all stories about cloning mammoth finds, we should be very cautious and not get hopes up yet. That’s a long time to still retain genetic material in a state where it can be used for cloning.
What’s more, the scientist, Grigoryev, has made similar “astonishing” [dubious] claims before.
He is associated with this conference presentation of a CT scan but not the lead author and this does not have mention of cloning possibilities.
Once again, I’m witholding judgement on this, the sources are shaky, the evidence dubious for now and we have a long way to go. Also, science isn’t done in local papers. There has been no analysis done on the findings yet.
Addition: I’m not the only “Hmmm…”