Woolly mammoths could be brought back to life - scientists discover tissue 10,000 years old

The Woolly Mammoth, related to the elephant, lived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until 4,000 years ago. Scientists can access well-preserved DNA frozen carcasses of the creatures

Daily Mail Online

Scientists in Siberia have found the first ever well-preserved sample of blood from a woolly mammoth, which could be used to recreate the extinct species.

The 10,000-year-old blood was sealed inside ice beneath the carcass of a female mammoth.

Preserved muscle tissue was also found from the creature, aged between 50 and 60 when she died, according to the Russian team who made the discovery on islands off the northern coast of Siberia.

According to The Siberian Times, the blood will now be made available to South Korean scientists seeking to use mammoth DNA to bring creatures back to life.

The find - said to be the first time mammoth blood has been discovered - comes amid a hotly contested debate over the morality of Jurassic Park-style projects to restore extinct creatures to the planet, with some scientists insisting it will be impossible to get exactly the same mammoths as once roamed Siberia.

Semyon Grigoriev, head of the Museum of Mammoths of the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North Eastern Federal University told The Siberian Times: 'We were really surprised to find mammoth blood and muscle tissue.'

He hailed it as 'the best preserved mammoth in the history of paleontology'.

'It is the first time we managed to obtain mammoth blood. No-one has ever seen before how the mammoth's blood flows.'

The mammoth was found in an ice tomb in the New Siberian Islands, or Novosibirsk Islands, and parts of the carcass are especially well preserved because they remained entirely frozen for 10,000 years.

'The approximate age of this animal is about 10,000 years old,' said Dr Grigoriev.

Story continues:  dailymail.co.uk

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