It has become awfully easy to discover woolly mammoth remains in northern Russia as the permafrost thaws--so easy a child could do it. (Thanks, climate change!) Still, we have to give some credit to the 11-year-old who stumbled upon an exquisitely preserved adult mammoth recently.
Yegevny Salinder was walking his dogs alongside the Yenisei river bank, when he smelled the mammoth's heels. That's right, smelled 'em. The "unpleasant" odor led him to a 30,000-year-old giant fossil that had a skeleton, ears, a tusk, some facial features and even a 1.5-meter long penis intact.
Mammoth experts from Moscow's Zoology Institute dug up the mammoth, which is now on his way to Moscow for further study. Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Institute's Zoological Museum, suggests that geneticists might try to clone him.
As far as cloning goes, a male is superior to a female (since you would have multiple cloning attempts, and would hope for at least a breeding pair - and it is easier to knock something off to turn male to female than to add a Y to the X to make a male from a female).
An adult, however, is not ideal. Since clones tend to have accelerated aging up to the death-age of the sample, a younger sample should give you a healthier clone (particularly since you would want to move from clone to traditional birth as quickly as possible for cost concern).
Maybe this is me growing up during Jurassic Park, but I didn't think you needed an ENTIRE fossil/animal of anything in order to clone it. I thought it was just certain types of tissue or blood. I'm no expert, but I feel like cloning a mammoth was doable like 15 years ago...
30k years (just guessing) of being frozen in ice, that mammoth has a 1.5m penis makes me sick. I step in a cold shower and loose all sense of dignity.
I dont see why it would affect your dignity unless you plan on mating with a female mammoth anytime soon.
I like to see a whole herd of Wooly Mammoths come back. I am serious; I really like to see this happen.
No, I do not wish for them to dominate humans or any other species. However, in this single wish, I just like them to all be able to come back and live with us all.
Now that raises penis envy to a new height! er, length.
Did you say mammoth? Well...if you are in Boston, then head on over to the Museum Of Science as the new "Mammoth and Mastodon" exhibit just opened on Sunday. We had a preview of it last Wed:
A pretty awesome show and not to be missed...
"We Entertain When It Rains"
@cober319, you're correct. In this case, because the body is in such good shape, it implies that the cells are too. They bring up cloning because it's a good specimen.