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Hand holding tissue sample from woolly mammoth

Hand holding tissue sample from woolly mammoth

E447/0017

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Credit

PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sampling mammoth tissue. Scientist's hand holds a sample tube containing tissue from well-preserved remains of a woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius. At bottom adhering to bone can be seen the flesh and hair of a mammoth carcass. Such well-preserved tissue, often older than 40,000 years, is due to the remains being deep frozen in permafrost. Some mammoth specimens are so intact to enable research to be conducted on internal organs, brain, heart, and DNA genetic material in cells. Mammoth DNA can provide evidence of family and evolutionary rela- tionships. Analysis of other tissues provides evidence of mammoth diet, disease, and lifestyle.

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