Japan will put frozen mammoth on display

TOKYO – World fairs have typically focused on the wonders of the future, highlighting new technologies from glass and steel construction in the 19th century to satellites and computers today.

But next year’s fair will be different.

The Japanese organizers of the 2005 world’s fair have shipped a 18,000-year-old frozen woolly mammoth from Siberia to become the centerpiece attraction.

Naoki Suzuki, the Japanese scientist overseeing the Aichi Expo exhibit, said Friday the preserved head, tusks and front leg of the mammoth have arrived in Nagoya near the fair site, about 170 miles west of Tokyo.

Experts say the mammoth head, dug up earlier this year, is the most intact specimen of its kind recovered in 200 years. Scientists will conduct tests in a laboratory with a gallery so visitors can watch.

Preliminary tests suggest the bull mammoth lumbered across the prehistoric Siberian plains at more than 9 feet tall, weighing as much as 5 tons, Suzuki said. It was probably between 40 and 45 years old when it died.

His team hopes a battery of planned tests will help unravel the mystery of why mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago.

They will use advanced X-rays to peer inside the mammoth’s head and generate a 3-D map of its brain; study muscle tissue to determine how mammoths walked; look at rocks and pollen caught in its fur; cut into the tusks to determine what it ate and whether it was ill; and take DNA samples to answer questions about diseases and viruses.

Mammoths first appeared in Africa as long as 4 million years ago, and they roamed the plains of Siberia for nearly 2 million years before suddenly dying off.

Japanese researchers have for years been searching for mammoth remains in a separate project aimed at making a clone. So far, no DNA samples have been suitable for such an attempt.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Lynnwood man arrested, released on $25K bond after road rage shooting

Deputies arrested the suspect, 20, for investigation of first-degree assault on Tuesday.

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Most Read