10 fascinating facts about woolly mammoths. Sequencing an extinct genome is no longer a pipe dream, says evolutionary biologist and ancient DNA specialist Hendrik Poinar in today’s talk.
It’s a modern reality, and we’re not too far from seeing a revived extinct species walking the Earth again — maybe even a woolly mammoth. In this talk from TEDxDeExtinction, Poinar talks about how he and fellow scientists are getting closer to completing a woolly mammoth genome, an intricate puzzle that consists of discovering, entangling and connecting over 5 billion base pairs. Hendrik Poinar: Bring back the woolly mammoth! Megalonyx jeffersonii (Giant Land Sloth) Cave Bear size comparison. Scientists Discover Blood inside 15,000 ya Mammoth. Russian scientists claimed Wednesday they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal.
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," Grigoryev, who is a scientist at the Yakutsk-based Northeastern Federal University, told AFP.
"This is the most astonishing case in my entire life. "The forelegs and the stomach are well preserved, while the hind part has become a skeleton. " Fossil of 16myo 'walking' bat discovered in New Zealand. Fossilised remains of a new bat species, which lived 16 million years ago, walked on four limbs and was three times larger than today's average bat, have been discovered in New Zealand.
The fossils were found near Central Otago on South Island, in sediment left over from a vast prehistoric body of water known as Lake Manuherikia, which was part of warmer subtropical rainforest during the early Miocene era, between 16 and 19-million-years-ago. The new species, Mystacina miocenalis, was described today in the journal PLOS ONE, and is related to another bat, Mystacina tuberculata, which still lives in New Zealand's old growth forests. "Our discovery shows for the first time that Mystacina bats have been present in New Zealand for upwards of 16 million years, residing in habitats with very similar plant life and food sources," says lead author and vertebrate palaeontologist, Associate Professor Suzanne Hand from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia. Extinct Giant Whale-Eating Whale Found.
- Unlike modern sperm whales, this one had teeth in both jaws and might have eaten like killer whales. - The 10-foot sperm whale skull fossil is the largest ever found. - Its main food might have been baleen whales.
The massive skull and jaw of a 13-million-year-old sperm whale has been discovered eroding from the windblown sands of a coastal desert of Peru. The extinct cousin of the modern sperm whale is the first fossil to rival modern sperm whales in size -- although this is a very different beast, say whale evolution experts. "We could see it from very far," said paleontologist Olivier Lambert of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France, who led the team which found the fossil. PHOTOS: Mammals of the Sea The giant 3-meter (10-foot) skull of what's been dubbed Leviathan melvillei (in honor of the author of "Moby Dick") was found with teeth in its top and bottom jaws up to 36 centimeters (14 inches) long.
VIDEO: Why is Whale Vomit So Valuable? Extinct Megafauna. Elasmotherium. Look What You've Done, North America! : Krulwich Wonders... 10 Transitional Ancestors of Human Evolution. Humans The evolution from our closest non-human ancestor to present day humans is one with many transitions.
Some of these transitions are widely agreed upon by the scientific community while others are shrouded in frustrating darkness. Below are the ten species that have added the most to our lineage, some adding seemingly simple advances like walking on two legs and chewing food differently to mastering fire and dominating every other species on Earth. Sahelanthropus tchadensis 6-7 mya The beginnings of our lineage away from the Great Apes really start with the separation from chimpanzees, our closest non-hominin relative. Kenyanthropus platyops 3.5 mya Found at Lake Turkana, Kenya in 1999, K. platyops changed the way paleoanthropologists viewed our ancestral tree. Australopithecus afarensis 3.0-3.9 mya In 1974 at Hadar, Ethiopia researchers discovered about 40% of a skeleton came to be known as “Lucy.”
Multituberculata. The Multituberculata were a group of rodent-like mammals that existed for approximately one hundred and twenty million years—the longest fossil history of any mammal lineage—but were eventually outcompeted by rodents, becoming extinct during the early Oligocene. At least 200 species are known, ranging from mouse-sized to beaver-sized.
These species occupied a diversity of ecological niches, ranging from burrow-dwelling to squirrel-like arborealism. Multituberculates are usually placed outside either of the two main groups of living mammals—Theria, including placentals and marsupials, and Monotremata—but closer to Theria than to monotremes. History Geographic distribution Paraceratherium skull. Mammoth Tusk. Glyptodon. Evolution Restoration Glyptodon carapace fragment (Pleistocene).
Glyptodon is part of the superorder of placental mammals known as Xenarthra. This clade of mammals also includes anteaters, tree sloths, armadillos, and extinct ground sloths and pampatheres. Glyptodon originated in South America. Description Glyptodon measured over 3.3 m (10.8 ft) in length and weighed up to 2 tons. It was covered by a protective shell composed of more than 1,000 2.5 cm-thick bony plates, called osteoderms or scutes. The nasal passage was reduced with heavy muscle attachments for some unknown purpose.