(ORDO NEWS) — Mammoth named Yuka, whose perfectly preserved mummy was found in Yakutia in 2010, turned out to be a male. This became known after a paleogenetic study. For a long time, scientists believed that the 40,000-year-old animal was a female.
Woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) formed as a species about 800-750 thousand years ago in Siberia, from where they then spread across Eurasia and North America.
Most of the populations of this species, whose lifestyle can be found in the blog “About the mammoth fauna”, died out in the late Pleistocene or early Holocene. However, in some areas this happened much later.
So, on Wrangel Island, judging by radiocarbon dating, mammoths disappeared about 3700 years ago, and on the Taimyr Peninsula – about 3900 years ago.
In 2010, one of the best preserved woolly mammoth mummies was found in the north of Yakutia. The animal found in permafrost was nicknamed Yuka. Radiocarbon analysis showed that he lived about 40,100-39,000 years ago (past results – 34.3 and 28 thousand years ago).
For 12 years since the discovery, Yuka was considered the first female mammoth of adolescence (about 5.5 years old) that fell into the hands of paleontologists. By his age, the mammoth already weighed about 450–500 kilograms and reached a height of 165 centimeters at the withers.
Scientists noted the unusual preservation of the brain of this animal, which was revealed during a tomographic study. Subsequently, they even managed to carry out an operation to extract it. Analysis of Yuki’s mitochondrial genome, which was only partially read, showed that he belonged to clade I,
The press center of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Moscow announced new results of a paleogenetic study of Yuka’s remains.
In a private conversation with Albert Protopopov, Head of the Mammoth Fauna Department of the Academy of Sciences of Yakutia, Swedish molecular biologist Love Dalen from the Center for Paleogenetics at Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History shared the first results of studying the mammoth genome.
It turned out that Yuka is a male, not a female, as previously thought. Protopopov called this news a surprise.
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