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Wooly Mammoths were Ginger!

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  • 04-04-2012 7:56pm
    #1
    Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭


    Well, strawberry blonde should I say :P An extremely well preserved Wooly Mammoth was found frozen in a cliff in siberia and has provided new insight into things such as hair and eye colour.
    An examination of its body, described by scientists as having “huge significance”, is even said to show human beings “stole” their food from hunting lions, with wounds consistent with attack from both predators.

    In found to be true, it will be the first evidence of interaction between mammoths and ancient humans ever found in the area.

    The well-preserved mammal, which has been named Yuka, is thought to have been between three and four years old when it died and still has its foot pads and ginger hair in tact.

    There's a BBC documentary about the find on BBC2 tonight at 9 o'clock GMT. Here's the source for the article:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9185081/Discovered-woolly-mammoth-with-strawberry-blonde-hair.html


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Amazing discovery! :D I'm kinda bummed they don´t say what its eye color was tho, as they do mention it but don´t specify it.:(


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Do you get BBC where you are? might say on that show tonight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    Do you get BBC where you are? might say on that show tonight.

    :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    Looking forward to the programme, have always been fascinated by the animals that lived alongside the earliest humans.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Looking forward to the programme, have always been fascinated by the animals that lived alongside the earliest humans.

    Just started. The lovely Dr. Alice roberts is presenting it too :D


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  • Registered Users Posts: 38 Oh Hell Oui!


    Gotta love gingers! This really raises some interesting questions about how humans were interacting with other apex predators. Did humans wait for lions to make a kill and then simply scare them off? These fearless feckers certainly do!http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00f0xy8


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Gotta love gingers! This really raises some interesting questions about how humans were interacting with other apex predators. Did humans wait for lions to make a kill and then simply scare them off? These fearless feckers certainly do!http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00f0xy8

    Amazing how easily the lions gave up their kill- or maybe I should say how easily they ran off when approached. I wonder if prehistoric lions were any different...


  • Registered Users Posts: 38 Oh Hell Oui!


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Amazing how easily the lions gave up their kill- or maybe I should say how easily they ran off when approached. I wonder if prehistoric lions were any different...

    Yeah its an interesting thought, cave paintings seem to suggest they hunted in coordinated groups similiar to modern lions, so maybe they were very similiar behaviourally. But I suppose we'll never know! Also how long did it take lions to figure out that humans were to be feared?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,706 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manach


    I'm sure the few survivors passed it on their genes. Did the program mention anything about possible cloning?


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    Manach wrote: »
    I'm sure the few survivors passed it on their genes. Did the program mention anything about possible cloning?

    Yea they did, they mentioned the ethical issues and that. They also talked about them trying to map its genome and extracting the DNA from hair. They're able to get the DNA over 90% pure from the hair which is amazing. They were also able to recreate mammoth hemoglobin in the lab and test to see how it reacts to low temperatures. Apparently regular hemoglobin loses its ability to transport oxygen efficiently as the temperature drops but mammoth equivalent doesn't which would have went a long way in their ability to survive in the climate they did. Fascinating stuff!!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Yeah its an interesting thought, cave paintings seem to suggest they hunted in coordinated groups similiar to modern lions, so maybe they were very similiar behaviourally. But I suppose we'll never know! Also how long did it take lions to figure out that humans were to be feared?

    Well, I guess when some lions got speared from a distance, the others learned to stay away from humans. Lions are quite smart... but in places where they aren´t hunted for a long time, they "forget" their fear of humans- it's not an instinctive fear, like some folks like to say. Same with tigers (hence the high incidence of attacks on humans on the Sunderbans, where they aren´t heavily prosecuted). But I'm going off topic... :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    It would be a brave human that would approach a prehistoric lion to chase it off its kill. Were they not much larger than todays lions? I read somewhere that the American Lion would tipp the scales at over 1000lb.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    I don't think its that they're scared of humans per se, its more a case of the humans not openly being intimidated. Lions expect prey to high tail it, if you don't do that then they get confused and back off. In that Human Planet clip they have to be really quick stealing that meat because the lions will eventually suss out that they're not a threat. I reckon it would have worked with prehistoric lions too.

    You can see this kind of behaviour in a fair few documentaries where people interact with large predators and get away with it. Two that spring to mind are Grizzly Man and the series Lion Man.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22,302 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    So......... does this mean that mammoths didn't have souls.....? :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭steddyeddy


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Amazing discovery! :D I'm kinda bummed they don´t say what its eye color was tho, as they do mention it but don´t specify it.:(

    If they know the genetic code they should know the eye color. Its not one of the hardest genes to find or translate in fairness.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    So how would people feel if a cloned mammoth appeared tomorrow? Ill be honest i think its not a good idea, they had their time on earth and while hunting by early humans may have had an affect on numbers there were many other reasons for the extinction of the species. Its different today where man is directly responsible for the disappearence of animals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭steddyeddy


    So how would people feel if a cloned mammoth appeared tomorrow? Ill be honest i think its not a good idea, they had their time on earth and while hunting by early humans may have had an affect on numbers there were many other reasons for the extinction of the species. Its different today where man is directly responsible for the disappearence of animals.

    Well man did play a part in mammoth extinction.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    steddyeddy wrote: »
    Well man did play a part in mammoth extinction.

    Agreed, but the mammoths were hunted for food and not to have their head put on some guys wall to make him feel a big man like happens today. I was just saying that i dont think it was hunting alone that contributed to their decline.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    So how would people feel if a cloned mammoth appeared tomorrow? Ill be honest i think its not a good idea, they had their time on earth and while hunting by early humans may have had an affect on numbers there were many other reasons for the extinction of the species. Its different today where man is directly responsible for the disappearence of animals.

    From a research point of view I'd like to see it happen, who knows what discoveries they could make from it. I don't think they should be re-introduced into the wild or anything though.
    steddyeddy wrote: »
    Well man did play a part in mammoth extinction.

    They touched on that in the show alright, and that mammoth mentioned in the article appeared to have been driectly interfered with by people which was quite exciting. Its still considered a grey area over the direct cause of their extinction though from what I could gather.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭steddyeddy


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    From a research point of view I'd like to see it happen, who knows what discoveries they could make from it. I don't think they should be re-introduced into the wild or anything though.



    They touched on that in the show alright, and that mammoth mentioned in the article appeared to have been driectly interfered with by people which was quite exciting. Its still considered a grey area over the direct cause of their extinction though from what I could gather.

    In fairness I probraly am making it seem more black and white than it was. I would love to see one cloned though!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    It would be a brave human that would approach a prehistoric lion to chase it off its kill. Were they not much larger than todays lions? I read somewhere that the American Lion would tipp the scales at over 1000lb.

    That is true, but American lions may have been a separate species from modern day lions- with even some scientists suggesting it was probably more related to jaguars. Lots of controversy about it tho- nothing certain. Cats are notoriously difficult to tell apart from only their bones.

    Cave lions are the ones that roamed Russia during the time of woolly mammoths; they were slightly smaller than the American ones but still larger than modern day lions- and about the same size as the largest Siberian tigers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    I was a bit surprised to hear that the Mammoths from Siberia were only the size of an Asian elephant. Compare this to the Columbian Mammoth which I think could be 4 meters tall. I suppose the colder envoirment that the Siberian Mammoth lived in might explain the smaller size.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,564 ✭✭✭✭steddyeddy


    I was a bit surprised to hear that the Mammoths from Siberia were only the size of an Asian elephant. Compare this to the Columbian Mammoth which I think could be 4 meters tall. I suppose the colder envoirment that the Siberian Mammoth lived in might explain the smaller size.

    Well thats strange to me because theres a law in zoology called bergmans rule thats dictates that the closer an animal gets to the poles (ie the colder the climate) the bigger it gets. Case in point the one of the smallest bears the spectacled bear which lives in south america and one of the largest which is the kodiak bear which is one of the largets which lives in alaska.


  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 32,252 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Mickeroo


    I'm pretty sure the Woolly Mammoth is bigger than asian elephants, it was closer in size to African elephants, maybe only slightly bigger. As for being closer to the poles, I thought the Columbian and Imperial Mammoth's range stretched just as far north as their siberian counterparts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    steddyeddy wrote: »
    Well thats strange to me because theres a law in zoology called bergmans rule thats dictates that the closer an animal gets to the poles (ie the colder the climate) the bigger it gets. Case in point the one of the smallest bears the spectacled bear which lives in south america and one of the largest which is the kodiak bear which is one of the largets which lives in alaska.

    Oh right, i didnt know that. I just thought that a smaller more compact body was more suited to a colder region, but that was only my own thinking so cheers for the info.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,544 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure the Woolly Mammoth is bigger than asian elephants, it was closer in size to African elephants, maybe only slightly bigger. As for being closer to the poles, I thought the Columbian and Imperial Mammoth's range stretched just as far north as their siberian counterparts?

    I dont know to be honest i was only going by what they said on the programme, i thought it was mentioned that they were the same size as an Asian elephant but i may have took it up wrong.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    I dont know to be honest i was only going by what they said on the programme, i thought it was mentioned that they were the same size as an Asian elephant but i may have took it up wrong.

    I've heard and read they were Asian elephant-sized my whole life, but recently there's been some controversy over mammoth classification (with some formerly separate species being combined into other, already known ones), so maybe some of the larger woolly mammoths were previously considered as separate species? Just a thought.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    I am not 100% sure on this to be honest, but did the mammoth outlast the mastodon or was it the other way around? I know they co-existed in some places.

    I only mention it as they could have been in competition once the climate began to change. Originally they would have had different foods, but as vegetation became more and more scarce they would have been forced to eat less palatable stuff. This would have caused competition between big herbivores.

    Wouldn't it???

    (Not really my field so please excuse me for asking a stupid question)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,279 ✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    I am not 100% sure on this to be honest, but did the mammoth outlast the mastodon or was it the other way around? I know they co-existed in some places.

    I only mention it as they could have been in competition once the climate began to change. Originally they would have had different foods, but as vegetation became more and more scarce they would have been forced to eat less palatable stuff. This would have caused competition between big herbivores.

    Wouldn't it???

    (Not really my field so please excuse me for asking a stupid question)

    Mammoths outlasted mastodons but only for a short while (about one thousand years in continental lands)- mastodons died out 11.000 years ago, and mammoths 10.000 years ago except for small island populations. Everything seems to indicate tho that mammoths were always much more abundant than mastodons so its no wonder mastodons died out first...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Hold the phone, mammoths are extinct!?!?!?


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