An international team from Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University have found the well-preserved remains of a prehistoric woolly mammoth.
They were on a paleontological research trip in the province of Yakutia when they came across samples including fur and bone marrow.
It could take months for the scientists to establish exactly what they have found.
The head of the team believes that chances of finding living cells are pretty remote — but not impossible.
“We have hopes that DNA was kept safe,” said Semyon Grigoriev.
Scientists already have deciphered much of the woolly mammoth’s genetic code from frozen fur balls found in the Siberian permafrost. Some believe it could be possible to recreate the prehistoric animal if living cells are found.
In the Netherlands, the skeleton of a 13-metre long mosasaur has been found, in a limestone quarry near Maastricht. Mosasaurs were marine reptiles that lived at the time of dinosaurs. Then, the area around Maastricht was covered by a shallow tropical sea.
Anne Schulp, a Palaeontologist at Maastricht’s Natural History Museum explained: “We see all the bones here scattered around and it is not like one complete skeleton. All the bones are over a very wide area and that is because the carcass ended up at the sea floor and then scavenging sharks came in, ripped the carcass apart and we have got the bones and all the little bits and pieces pretty much everywhere. So it is a bit of a jungle.”
The findings so far suggest they belonged to the oldest known specimen of the ‘Mosasaurus Hoffmanni’ group or of a closely related species. The Mosasaur lived approximately 67 million years ago.