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Among the mammoths were shateny and blondes

July 7 2006

By the sensational conclusion was reached by German scientists. They believe that the mammoths were covered with light hair.

According to previous concepts of paleontologists, the ancestors of elephants were the holders of long tusks and brown hair. Studies of the remains of mammoths, with more than 43 thousand years, several well-established fine-tune the picture.

Michael Hofrayter of the Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology Max Planck and Torsten Schöneberg from Leipzig University, compared the results of numerous DNA of mammoths. With the help of new technology for the first time they managed to completely decipher the genetic code of the cell nucleus extinct ancestors of elephants. But the researchers found just two varieties of MC1R-gene, which is responsible for hair color in mammals. One of the options reflects the brown color hair, the other - on the blond.

Tufts of wool, beautifully preserved in the permafrost of Siberia, only confirm the hypothesis of white mammoths. Scientists suggest that "white camouflage" is more suitable for polar conditions, rather than the brown color.

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