NOV 05, 2017 03:19 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
JUL 07, 2018
Videos
JUL 07, 2018
Can Sending Plants to Space Reveal a Cancer Treatment?
When plants are grown in a totally different environment, it may stimulate new effects....
JUL 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 17, 2018
The Chemistry in Airbags
The name "airbag" can be deceiving because the bag is not exactly filled with air. Instead, this life-saving device is filled with nitrogen gas,...
JUL 17, 2018
Videos
JUL 17, 2018
Novartis Ends Antibiotic Research
The United Nations has warned that by 2050, antibiotic-resistant microbes might kill ten million people every year....
JUL 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 24, 2018
These Animals Experience Harsher Childbirths Than Humans
You might be quick to think that humans have it hard during childbirth, but compared to a few other species in the animal kingdom, humans actually have it...
JUL 29, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 29, 2018
Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?
During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s...
AUG 01, 2018
Videos
AUG 01, 2018
Seasonal Affective Disorder Can Happen in the Summer
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a temporary mental condition where people feel sad or depressed because of the season and weather. It’s mos...
Loading Comments...