GORNO-ALTAISK, February 12 (Itar-Tass) - Researchers from the Academy of Sciences of Russia’s Siberian republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will be the first in the world to study mammoth brain to try to model mammoth behavior patterns, Academy’s spokeswoman Larisa Semyonova told Itar-Tass.
Until now, she said, mammoth behavior has been modeled on the basis of elephant behavior.
According to the spokeswoman, researchers plan to scrutinize the brain of a baby mammoth nicknamed Yuka that was discovered in Yakutia in 2010. The remarkably well preserved frozen carcass is in such good shape that much of its flesh is still intact.
“I late February, we plan to trepanize the mammoth’s skull and take the brain out to study it,” said Albert Protopopov, the head of the Academy’s mammoth study department. “We could not do that on other mammoth mummies because they were in much poorer condition. Even if the skulls were intact, there were no brain inside because of dehydration or rotting. Many skulls were found damaged.”
The process of taking the brain out of the skull will take quite a time. First, it will undergo conservation procedures inside the skull for several weeks, then it will be extracted through a small cut in the cranium. The brain will be studied by Russia’s leading physiologists from the Institute of the Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, specialists from the Institute of Paleontology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Yakutian researchers.