A team of oil workers in Siberia have uncovered the remains of a woolly mammoth, which they found buried just ten feet below the surface of the permafrost.
The workers were operating on a land reclamation project roughly 31 miles from Nyagan when they discovered the mammoth’s remains, according to the Petro Global News. Their first indication came when they noticed a tusk lying in an excavator bucket. According to one of the workers, Vladimir Bednyakov, this brought an immediate stop to their work.
“We have the rule – if we find something, we stop the work and call the bosses. But I was also interested myself in what this was.”
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Using shovels, the workers were eventually able to uncover another tusk from the woolly mammoth, along with a tibia, ribs, a jaw fragment, and teeth. The remains were sent to a museum, where they will undergo testing and restoration. According to Anton Rezvy, head of palaeontology at the Khanty-Mansiysk Museum of Nature and Man, that work could take between six months to a year to complete.
Woolly mammoth DNA inserted into elephant cells: The idea of bringing extinct animals back to life continues to… pic.twitter.com/K4UQg1Acen
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Rezvy also revealed that the woolly mammoth is believed to have been between 30 to 40-years-old at the time of its death. A female, the mammoth is estimated to be at least 10,000 years old, according to paleontologists. Though it is unclear why the species went extinct, mammoths in Siberia are believed to have vanished between 20,000 and 10,000-years-ago, according to the Daily Mail. In North America, it is thought that woolly mammoths persisted until much more recently, going extinct just 4,500-years-ago.
“We can send the find to determine the radiocarbon date,” Rezvy pointed out. “Genetic analysis will help to determine which population this mammoth was from – European or North American.”
— DNA Day (@DNAday) March 26, 2015
Earlier this month, researchers at Harvard announced that they had successfully spliced woolly mammoth DNA into the genetic sequence of an Asian Elephant. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the DNA was recovered from the body of a frozen mammoth, and while functioning cells have been created by the team, scientists cautioned that an actual clone of one of the animals requires a great deal of further work and study.
The oil workers who discovered the woolly mammoth’s remains have also been asked to choose a name for the specimen.
[Image: Anton Rezvy/ Siberian Times via the Daily Mail]