Canada’s Baby Mammoth Will Help Piece Together Part Of The History Of Life On Earth

nun cho go, were baby mammoth Woolen recently found in gold deposits, in Yukon, Canada, the most complete found in North America, is interesting for its conservation status; This allows direct conclusions to be drawn, unlike bones, confirmed the researcher from the Institute of Geology. UNAM, Victor Adrian Perez Crespo,

The findings of that country, Alaska and northern Siberia, have something in common: the conditions in which these animals lived – they were and are very cold regions – have made their conservation very important and we can find tissue, meat, and vice versa. What happens is Mexico”, where routinely only bones are discovered, he argued.

Although this is not the first complete specimen saved by paleontologists – another well-preserved specimen was found in Russia in 2007 – Canada has a high conservation status.

The molecular type can be analyzed; That is, sequencing their DNA, in addition to knowing what they ate or the types of plants that existed in the tundra 11 thousand years ago, some probably extinct, and to learn more about their distribution. Or, studies to understand how proboscis, the order of mammals to which elephants belong, evolved.

However, he clarified, DNA is a delicate molecule and it would be complicated to “revive” the species; Furthermore, we must take into account the ethical aspect and ask ourselves how convenient it would be to have an animal in an environment where the environment is completely different from the one that existed in the Pleistocene.

Victor Adrian Perez said the discovery will help us better understand this particular species, but also a “photo” from thousands of years ago that will help reconstruct part of the history of life on Earth.

survived a while

The expert explained that contrary to what is commonly believed, the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) never lived in Mexico. It was a species adapted to live in the cold conditions of the tundra and, because of this, had an abundant layer of hair, which allowed it to protect itself from extreme cold, not to mention that its underneath the skin was a thick layer of fat, the fur similar to that of a polar bear, to conserve heat. He used to feed on the leaves of huge grass and bush. Its distribution “We will find it in Europe, northern Asia and Canada, Alaska and even the northern part of the United States.”

In addition, it was an animal with a height of 2.5 to three meters, smaller than the Colombian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), a species that lived in our area, reaching a height of four to 4.5 meters. The last copies of the Woolly Mammoth disappeared about five thousand years ago; There were still some in ancient Egyptian times. And relatively recent remains, six thousand or seven thousand years old, have been found on some islands in Russia and Alaska, indicating that it did not disappear at the end of the Pleistocene, but survived for some time.

The reasons for its extinction are unknown. In this regard, the scientist explained that there are some hypotheses and the first indicates that it was due to climate change, due to temperature fluctuations recorded at that time and, in addition, caused the extinction of other species.

Another mentions that this was due to the direct action of man: they were hunted for meat eating, their skin was used for dress and their bones to make tools. “Excessive hunting can drive them to extinction,” explained Perez Crespo.

Similarly, some proposals suggest that diseases affecting mammoths and other species were spread by intentionally or accidentally moving animals to places other than their distribution site. Finally, the likely cause is a meteorite or comet impact 11 thousand years ago; But really no one has any certainty.

promising findings

At the university, he said, the remains of mammoths and other Pleistocene species are determined to determine the environment in which they were deposited and, ultimately, if modifications were made to their remains made by humans; That is, how did they talk?

The eating habits of animals are also worked out through dentistry at the micro and macro level (since some herbivores eat grass, leaves, fruits, and this serves to determine their diet with precision); In addition, biogeochemical analysis. In the same way, it’s about determining whether they moved, like elephants do, Perez Crespo said.

The UNAM Institute of Geology protects the National Collection of Paleontology, whose pieces come from collections carried out by university researchers. But its academics also participate in projects, such as those in the Prehistory and Palaeolithic environments of Mexico’s northwestern basin, including the sites of Santa Lucia and Tultepec, where dozens of mammoths have been found whose period and custody are in charge of anthropology and National Institute of History.

In them, “it is very promising that biomolecules are found; we will wait for some results in this regard”, said the scientist participating in the project.

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