Quantcast

Reindeer Herders Find Well-Preserved Mammoth Bones in Siberian Lake

Animals
Only parts of the skeleton have so far been recovered from the Pechevalavato Lake in northern Russia.

By Kristie Pladson

Russian scientists are excavating the well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth found in a lake in northern Siberia, The Associated Press reported Friday.


Fragments of the skeleton, which still has some ligaments attached, were discovered by local reindeer herders near the shore of Pechevalavato Lake in Russia's Yamal-Nenets region earlier this week.

The herders found part of the mammoth's skull, several ribs and a fragment of its foot with ligament still attached.

"The lake bottom mud may hold the rest of the mammoth skeleton," Dmitry Frolov, the head of the Research Center for Arctic Studies, told Russian news agency TASS.

"It is necessary to record the exact location of the remains for further studies," he added.

Full Excavation Will Take Time

On Friday, Russian television stations showed footage of scientists looking for more mammoth bones in the lakeside silt.

Several larger fragments have already been found following the original discovery this week. However, excavating the rest of the skeleton will require significant time and special equipment, assuming it all survived in position together, the scientists said.

Finding a complete mammoth skeleton is relatively rare, said Yevgeniya Khozyainova of the Shemanovsky Institute in Salekhard in televised remarks.

Heat Wave Melting Siberia's Permafrost

Experts believe woolly mammoths died out around 10,000 years ago. Reaching 5.5 meters (18 feet) in height and weighing up to 12 tons, they were around twice the size and weight of today's elephant.

The carcasses of several well-preserved mammoths have been uncovered in the permafrost of northern Siberia in recent years, as the region faces a rapid change of climate.

Siberia is currently experiencing a heat wave, in another warning sign to climate experts who believe rising temperatures could melt the permafrost and release huge amounts of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere . On Friday, the UN weather agency warned that last month's average temperatures there were 10 degrees Celsius (18 Fahrenheit) above normal.

Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Starbucks said each reusable cup would prevent as many as 30 disposable cups from being wasted. Lauren Pinney / Edelman / Starbucks

This Earth Month, Starbucks is experimenting with a circular economy.

From March 30 to May 31st, customers at five Seattle Starbucks will be able to order their drink in a reusable cup that they can then deposit themselves at a contactless kiosk or have picked up for them by area recycling service Ridwell.

Read More Show Less
An aerial view of the California Aqueduct, which moves water from northern California to the state's drier south, on April 21, 2021 near Bakersfield, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images

As California enters its second consecutive dry year and braces for what could be another devastating wildfire season, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency on Wednesday, in just two counties. The declaration targets Mendocino and Sonoma counties, known for their wineries and grape growing, and where conditions are desperately dry.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A new study maps the different forest types present in Central Africa and pinpoints which are most vulnerable to the climate crisis. Yannick Tylle / Getty Images

Much of the conversation surrounding the ecological benefits of tropical rainforests focuses on South America's Amazon. However, the forests of Central Africa are just as important. While the Amazon is the largest contiguous rainforest in the world, Central Africa's rainforests are the world's second largest, Nature reported. They store more carbon per hectare than the Amazon and host a higher concentration of large trees than any other continent.

Read More Show Less

The Race to Save the World is releasing on Virtual Cinema this Earth Day. Instead of focusing on paralyzing facts and numbers this inspiring feature takes a unique approach by following passionate activists, ages 15-72, who are in the trenches fighting for a livable future. These brave climate warriors put their lives on the line to push for change, regardless of the personal cost.

Read More Show Less
Trending

Forty leaders from the world's top greenhouse gas-polluting nations where hosted by the Biden administration on Thursday for an all-virtual summit to discuss the global climate emergency and the pathways — including individual emission reduction goals — that governments must take to stave off the worst impacts of global warming and runaway destruction of the planet's natural systems.

Read More Show Less