Woolly Mammoth DNA Mutations Caused Its Extinction

Woolly mammoth might have made the extermination of genetic issues that could cause the extinction of a herd discovered close to Siberia. The recent research analyzed the resurrected DNA of woolly mammoth fragments detected on a distant Arctic refuge off the coast of the Wrangel Island.

The creatures were 11,700 years ago, one of the most abundant cold-adapted animals on Earth before the Pleistocene period ended. The final of that period let the raise of the Holocene Age, where many species of animals found their end.

The research details than a remote group of mammoths reached the Wrangel Island because of the increasing sea levels and the lack of fresh water. The creatures found their end almost 5,000 years ago, and the cause of their death was unknown.

Mutations in the Woolly Mammoth DNA Caused Its Extinction

Now, comparing the DNA resurrected from woolly mammoth found on the island to that of other two ancient mammoths, and three Asian elephants, we can find out some essential details.

Researchers discovered many uncommon genetic mutations that affected a lot of the animals’ functions, such as insulin level, neurological development, the floral smells, and the male fertility. While the last, most precise cause of their disappearance is not specified, the decline in their population matched with the isolated environment of their territory resulted in them suffering too much from a lot of genetic issues. Such a thing could also have limited their development, according to the study.

The woolly mammoths are known as the last in a line of mammoth categories, starting with the Mammuthus subplanifrons in the early stages of the Pliocene. Also, the woolly mammoths had diverged from the steppe species of mammoths approximately 400,000 years ago in eastern Asia. It’s considered the most alike existent relative of the Asian elephant.

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