Mammoth carbon dating

Carbon dating of the tissue revealed that the mammoth lived and died about 40,000 years ago.

The team also recreated the mammoth's gruesome last moments: It was eaten alive by wolves and other predators after getting stuck in a peat bog.

How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened?

It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.

"Sometimes we charter a boat of our own and go for special 'fossil hunting' expeditions.

"Because we see so many fossils we work very closely with the leading experts in the field, such as Dick Mol, who is the world's leading authority on mammoths.

"We have assembled a number of complete skeletons of mammoths, something very few companies in the world can do." The salvagers have managed to piece together the entire mammoth skeleton after initially discovering the skull and tusks of the animal in 2012.

Mammoth experts performed a thorough autopsy on the animal, revealing intimate details of its life and grisly death.

Professor Willard Libby produced the first radiocarbon dates in 1949 and was later awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts…When we think of the last 50,000 years of prehistory, particularly the “Ice Age”, extinct species such as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros often spring to mind.

In May 2013, scientists from the Siberian Northeastern Federal University heard that mammoth tusks were sticking out of the permafrost on Maly Lyakhovsky Island in nothern Siberia.

The carcass, which oozed fresh blood when it was first dislodged from the permafrost, is perhaps the best hope of cloning a mammoth yet.

[Read the full story on the mammoth autopsy] Frozen in time When the team dug up the carcass, they found that almost all of the carcass was intact, with three legs, the majority of the body, part of the head and the trunk still present.

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