Photo: Rob Stothard / Getty Images
Scientists at the state University of new York at Buffalo revealed the reason for the mysterious disappearance of the last woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) lived on Wrangel island in the Arctic. According to the study, the death of the animal population occurred due to genetic degeneration. This publication reports Science Alert.
Experts came to the conclusion that mammoths suffered from hereditary diseases caused by the lack of genetic diversity. As soon as the number of individuals and number of available partners decreased, the frequency of harmful mutations has increased. This is indicated by the results of experiments in which scientists have introduced genes of mammoths in the embryonic cells of the elephants. It turned out that DNA was present defects that affect the fertility of males and smell.
Previously, researchers have conducted a full sequencing (determining the nucleotide sequences) of the genomes from the woolly mammoth found in Russia on Wrangel island, and the more ancient and healthy populations of these animals. Scientists have discovered harmful mutations by comparing the genomes with the DNA of three modern Indian elephants and mammoths that lived 44 800 and 20 000 years ago. Identified the defects associated with disturbances in sperm morphology, and neurological development, transfer of insulin signaling and olfactory receptors.
The last population of mammoths probably were characterized by high rates of male infertility and diabetes, and neurological disorders.
Video, photo All from Russia.