Date:

Mammoths suffered from diseases that are typical for people

Sergey Leshchinskiy, paleontologist, head of TSU’s Laboratory of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems, has studied the remains of Yakut mammoths collected on one of the largest locations in the world of mammoth fauna, Berelyokh. His study showed that almost half of the bones of these ancient mammals have signs of serious pathologies typical for the human skeletal system.

This is the openness of the transverse apertures of the cervical vertebrae.
CREDIT : TSU

According to the scientist, the remains of mammoths that lived about 12,000 -13,000 years ago (ca BP) in the area of modern Yakutia are perfectly preserved. Bones carried to the Berelyokh site were covered by sediments, and this saved them from weathering and damage by predators. In conditions of permafrost, the decomposition of tissues is slow, so even after millennia, the cartilage on some bones survived.

- Advertisement -

During the work with the collection, it was found that 42% of the samples showed signs of diseases of the skeletal system. Among them there are two pathologies that no one in the world had ever detected on the remains of this species.

One of the diseases doctors call “articular mouse”, or “rice grain”. It is a fragment of bone or cartilaginous tissue that is located freely in the joint cavity, — explains Sergei Leschinskiy. — Quite often this pathology is observed in humans. When such a piece falls into the articular cavity, severe pain occurs. This indicates a serious disease, for example, subchondral bone necrosis. An animal with such an ailment was restricted in movement and often became an easy target for predators.

Another anomaly, described for the first time in mammoths, is the openness of the transverse apertures of the cervical vertebrae, in which blood vessels and nerve plexuses are normally located. There are several vertebrae with such a deviation, and it is obvious that they belong to different individuals. However, in most cases, the mammoths have signs of destructive changes, osteoporosis, osteolysis, osteofibrosis, osteomalacia, articular diseases, and other diseases caused by metabolic disorders by a lack or excess of vital macro and micro elements.

These results confirm the hypothesis of TSU paleontologists that the cause of mass extinction of mammoths was the geochemical stress that arose due to mineral starvation or due to major ecological changes on the planet.

- Advertisement -

The results of the research are available in one of the prestigious journals in quaternary sciences, from the Elsevier publishing house — Quaternary International.

NATIONAL RESEARCH TOMSK STATE UNIVERSITY

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Sealed 18th century glass bottles discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

As part of a $40 million Mansion Revitalisation Project, archaeologists have discovered two sealed 18th century glass bottles at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Study suggests human occupation in Patagonia prior to the Younger Dryas period

Archaeologists have conducted a study of lithic material from the Pilauco and Los Notros sites in north-western Patagonia, revealing evidence of human occupation in the region prior to the Younger Dryas period.

Fort excavation uncovers Roman sculpture

Archaeologists excavating Stuttgart’s Roman fort have uncovered a statue depicting a Roman god.

The history of the Oak Island Money Pit

Oak Island, located in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, is a small 140-acre island which has been the subject of an ongoing treasure hunt since 1795.

Has the burial of an Anglo-Saxon king been uncovered?

Wessex founder Cerdic’s possible final resting place has emerged more than 1,000 years after it was named in an ancient royal charter.

Archaeologists uncover 4,200-year-old “zombie grave”

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered a "zombie grave" during excavations near Oppin, Germany.

Archaeologists uncover 2,000-year-old clay token used by pilgrims

A clay token unearthed by the Temple Mount Sifting Project, is believed to have served pilgrims exchanging offerings during the Passover festival 2,000-years-ago.

Moon may have influenced Stonehenge construction

A study by a team of archaeoastronomers are investigating the possible connection of the moon in influencing the Stonehenge builders.