Resurrected Mammoth Blood: Welcome To Pliocene Park

A team of scientists from around the world have recreated mammoth haemoglobin. The discovery reveals more about the beast than fossil records ever could; it's as though we've travelled 40,000 years into the past and taken a blood sample.

The researchers converted mammoth haemoglobin DNA sequences - taken from the bones of long-extinct Siberian mammoths - into RNA, which they then inserted into E. coli bacteria. From there, they were able to manufacture mammoth haemoglobin as it would have been in the Pliocene period.

The main discovery so far: that mammoths were capable of delivering oxygen to cells at very low temperatures, as would be expected of an Arctic creature. This is how they lowered the temperature of their extremities to reduce heat loss.

But the bigger news might be that this technique can be applied to other extinct species as well; the team is talking now about looking to extinct Australian marsupials, while my personal vote is for some dodo bird action.

Just please, let's leave the raptors be. [University of Adelaide]

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