Sunday, 7 October 2012
Soft Tissue Found in Mammoth Bone
Charles R. Knight: Woolly mammoths near the Somme River, AMNH mural (1916). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The recent discovery of a well-preserved mammoth in northern Siberia has brought an earlier discovery into the news.
According to The Guardian, “Russia's North-Eastern Federal University said in early September that an international team of researchers had discovered mammoth hair, soft tissues and bone marrow some 100 metres underground during a summer expedition in Yakutia.”
While finding soft tissue in mammoth fossils assumed to be some tens of thousands of years old is not as spectacular as finding it in a T. rex bone, it is nonetheless interesting.
Recent years have brought to light other intriguing details about mammoths. In 2007 the journal Science published a paper on DNA extracted from mammoth hair shafts. Some of the mammoths were assumed to be over 50,000 years old. This should cause us to use critical thinking skills: Does DNA really last that long, even in Siberia? If not, then there obviously is something amiss in the dates assigned to these fossils.
According to the creation model, woolly mammoths lived during the ice age following the Genesis Flood. We would not be surprised by the discovery of soft tissue and DNA in their fossils.
Gilbert, M. Thomas P. & al. 2007. Whole-Genome Shotgun Sequencing of Mitochondria from Ancient Hair Shafts Science 317: 5846, 1927 – 1930.
Well-preserved mammoth found in northern Siberia The Guardian. 5 October 2012.