Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Russian scientists in the world began for the first time research of a brain of a mammoth

     Paleontologists had a unique chance to compare a brain of a mammoth to a brain of an elephant. 

     Paleontologists had a unique chance to compare a brain of a mammoth to a brain of an elephant. 

   In 2010 - 2011 on Far North Yakutia was three unique paleontologic objects – mammals of the pleystotsenovy period are found.  Among these finds – well remained remains of a young female of a mammoth (to her named Yuka), transferred at the end of 2011 in Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). 

    The first results of researches of remains of a young mammoth became the real sensation.  Its geological age comes nearer to 40 thousand years, and individual doesn't exceed 9 years.  It is the first and while the only teenage mammoth who has fallen into hands of scientists. 

    Results of research of a skull of Yuka became a surprise.  The computer tomography showed that in a skull the brain remained!  When scanning its external structures are visible.  Besides, it is possible to distinguish zones of white and gray substance, so, to consider carrying-out systems of a brain, including so-called "a life tree" – the drawing formed by gray and white substance of a cerebellum.  This first detection of the remained brain of a mammoth as complete structure, for the first time for all 200-year history of studying of this ancient animal. 

    Usually paleontologists study a brain of the died-out animals on molds of a brain cavity of the remained skulls – this of cranes. However on such molds to distinguish all difficult structure of furrows and crinkles it isn't possible. And here the unique chance to investigate morphological features of a brain of an ancient mammal, to carry out biochemical studying of fabrics and, probably, even to restore structure of bark of hemispheres of a forward brain and a cerebellum was presented to scientists.

   For this purpose it was necessary to take a brain of an ancient mammal from a cranium. Similar work demanded thorough training not to destroy the soft fabrics which have remained in permafrost. Work on studying of a brain of a mammoth was headed by professor Sergey Savelyev (scientific research institute of morphology of the person of the Russian Academy of Medical Science). The working group included the staff of scientific research institute of morphology of the person of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, the Yakut academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences Paleontologic institute.

   The employee of the Yakut state integrated museum of history and culture of the people of the North Innokenti Pavlov carried out fixing of a brain of Yuka by formalin – even before its extraction, directly to skull cavities.  Scrupulous work proceeded within three weeks:  through specially made opening in a skull fixing solution gradually was filled in.  Then a skull accurately opened.  Brain extraction from the basis of a cranium demanded considerable patience of researchers pioneers – operation conducted for six hours.  Though Yuka's brain was mummified owing to long stay in permafrost, already it became at first sight clear that it is similar to a brain of a modern elephant.  The same as at elephants, it has a little uploshchyonny form and a large cerebellum. 
The ancient sample of nervous fabric was very fragile, and preservation of its integrity for further researches became a separate task.  The valuable material was hermetically packed, and by plane is delivered to Moscow in the special container. 

    Now Yuka's brain is stored in formalin solution with special condensing additives in scientific research institute of Morphology of the person of the Russian Academy of Medical Science. Repeated scanning of a brain was carried out to the shortest terms with assistance of experts from the National research center "Kurchatov Institute". Now detailed morphological research of a brain of a mammoth, his comparison with a brain modern hobotny – Asian and African elephants is necessary to biologists. Creation of three-dimensional model of a brain of a mammoth becomes one of results of research.

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