NOV 05, 2017 3:19 PM PST

Risk-taking Male Woolly Mammoths Got Preserved

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Researchers assessed 98 wooly mammoth specimens found in parts of Siberia and learned that most fossilized remains came from males of the species; about seven of every ten of the samples belonged to males. The investigators suggested that's because male mammoths tended to travel alone and these inexperienced animals fell into natural traps like bogs, lakes, and crevices. That in turn, made it more likely that their bodies would be preserved.

"Most bones, tusks, and teeth from mammoths and other Ice Age animals haven't survived," noted Love Dalen of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "It is highly likely that the remains that are found in Siberia these days have been preserved because they have been buried, and thus protected from weathering. The new findings imply that male mammoths more often died in a way that meant their remains were buried, perhaps by falling through lake ice in winter or getting stuck in bogs."

"We were very surprised because there was no reason to expect a sex bias in the fossil record," added PatrĂ­cia Pecnerova, also of the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "Since the ratio of females to males was likely balanced at birth, we had to consider explanations that involved better preservation of male remains."

Now the researchers want to know if this same type of seeing can be seen in the fossil records of other species.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
MAR 15, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 15, 2020
The Incredible Life of a Sea Urchin
From start to finish, a sea urchin’s life involves an incredible and lengthy journey. From the moment a wandering ...
MAR 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 16, 2020
What Would it Take to Visit Alpha Centauri?
Humankind has long pondered upon the ambition of becoming a multiplanetary species. While much of our realistic focus re ...
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 22, 2020
SpaceX to Send Astronauts to the ISS for the First Time in May
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program opened the door to the possibility that American commercial space companies like Bo ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
Scientists Discover Evidence of Ancient Rainforest in Antarctica
Back in 2017, Dr. Johann Klages and his team were going about their usual business of drilling into the seafloor to extr ...
APR 28, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 28, 2020
Young Orangutans Must Learn a Lot Before Adulthood
Orangutans watch over their children for longer periods than any other primate besides humans. On average, most organs t ...
MAY 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 18, 2020
Top Secret Military X-37B Space Plane Heads Back to Outer Space
Not much is known about the United States’ Space Force’s top-secret X-37B military space plane apart from th ...
Loading Comments...