Mastodon's still alive today???

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posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 06:28 AM
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Having seen posts regarding fully preserved frozen specimins, I took a short search to check up on the living versions. None found so here it is.

For some time there have been reports of very large unusual looking elephants in remote forested regions of Nepal. After a pretty extensive search both photo's and video shots were produced of two of this supposed creatures.

Two bull elephants were dicovered, both being much larger than modern elephants, the largest of the two being around 3.7 meters at the shoulder and weighing roughly 7 tonnes (note these figures come from someone who has worked with elephants all their life and so is pretty good at judging size and mass)

The size alone makes them interesting, but what's odd is their appearence. Having the characterisic sloped back of the elephants ancestors along with a twin domed head.

Firstly heres a picture of what an ancient Mastodon would have looked like (note their were both hairy and semi hairless varities, but the steriotypical mammoth has always drawn more crowds)



When you compare this to the modern day elephant the physical differences are very clear.



So when you see shots of the ones found in Nepal you can't fail to see both differences in modern elehpants and similarities in ancient Mastodons.

Here side on you can clearly see the sloped back.


Here you can see the twin domes on it's head.


As opposed to the single dome that modern elephants possess.



So is it really a living ancestor out there in Nepal or just an as yet unclassified species of modern day elephant with old style features??
I've seen a few photo's of these including a filmed documantary on the animals a while back so it included video footage of them. Which makes me fairly confident these animals are real, and not hoaxed. But it does leave me unsure as to what they are........




posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 08:11 AM
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I saw a documentary on this group of elephants some time back on Discovery Channel...they did some DNA work and found that they were actually not mastodons but an isolated population of Asian elephants who had begun showing traits from a little farther back in their family tree, like the sloping backs and domed heads. I'll dig around for a link, hopefully there's more out there on this topic.



posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 08:40 AM
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Look forward to it, I know that they couldn't get any DNA from the animals for saftey reasons to the creatures. So dung was used. However at my last check elephant and mastodon DNA hadn't yet been fuly sequenced, which would make identification very difficult. Has the sequencing been completed now then?



posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 01:02 PM
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I recall having seen this or a similiar documentary on these animals too. They did get dna for sampling tho I thought? Damn, I really don't remember what the ultimate result was tho. They'd be able to tell if these are a different species of elephant certainly, and just how different some of the genes are to other living elephants. Thats not the same as comparing it to mastodon or mamuth dna, but if it were radically different than any known elephant dna, well, that'd be something in and of itself.



posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 02:20 PM
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What you show a pic of,Feygan is the Steppe Mammoth. A Mastodon looks like the pic provided. Note the sloping head sans the bump of the Mammoth. I think that there is a possibilty that we won't need to use cloning at all. There has been speculation, based on sightings that a similiar creature still roams the vast forests of Siberia. Albeit a furry one.


[edit on 15-9-2004 by Der Kapitan]



posted on Sep, 15 2004 @ 06:43 PM
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Ah my bad.... I couldn't track down a true mastodon picture previously, thanks for the help out.


I've taken a further look into DNA sequencing for both modern elephants and mastodons. So far zip on the elephant front, (though i may have just not looked hard enough) but I did find some nice stuff on the lines of the mastodon.

An Ohio proffessor managed to clone cells from the most perfectly preserved mastodon found to date, to study the relationship between it and other elephants.

"We hypothesize that mastodons are probably closely related to the Wooly Mammoth of Siberia, and these animals are probably distantly related to the African and Asian elephants of the present day,"


The full article can be found here. news.owu.edu...

I'm currently in the proccess of trying to get in contact with Proffessor Goldstein to see if his work has progressed in the last 3 years. (with many fingers and toes crossed) If it turns out that we now know enough of the sequence then i'll have to look into elephants to see if we know enough about those. With luck both will be good then some real comparisons can start being made.

Hell it could even be a true living fossil out there in Nepal. But let's not get too exited.



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 06:53 AM
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Ok I've had a response from professor Goldstein, here's what he had to say.


We have material that was identified as the remains of the intestinal contents of an American Mastodon that was preserved
in a peat bog for almost 12,000 years. We were successful in amplifying some fragments of the mitochondrion and when we blasted
the sequences against GenBank, the closest sequences that they were related to was an elephant. We think therefore that we have
amplified some of the mitochondrial sequences of the animal.
We have precious little of the material remaining and are now deciding what to do with it for future experiments to
maximize the results.


I've dropped a reply inquiring about how different they are from modern elephants, and if both elephant and mastodon DNA has been fully sequenced. Also how easy it is to tell the difference.
If these things come back good then I'll be trying to get ahold of the guy that went out to nepal, to see if they still have the DNA results.

Things are slowly looking promising, but then never hold ones breath.



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by feygan
An Ohio proffessor managed to clone cells from the most perfectly preserved mastodon found to date, to study the relationship between it and other elephants.

Please note that he didn't clone cells, but rather amplified a copy of one gene, yeilding the second mastodon gene discovered, not an entire cell. Also, while the material he got the sample from was well preserved, it was, 'intestinal material', you know, poo. The actual cells mentioned were still living bacteria from the gut.



"We hypothesize that mastodons are probably closely related to the Wooly Mammoth of Siberia, and these animals are probably distantly related to the African and Asian elephants of the present day,"

I'd be interested to see if they compared the mastodon gene to and elephant genes and what the results were.

edit:ah, just saw the update, good follow up feygan!

[edit on 22-9-2004 by Nygdan]



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 08:02 AM
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The curving in of the tusks is pretty telling too...good find! And helps support my Atlantis theory (but thats a whole other ballgame, hehe...) Basically that since Mastadons were in South America, in the timeframe indicated by Plato, but barely. If such ancestors of it instead were around, then it would make even more sense, and apply to the 900 years timeline as well as the 9000 years one.



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 09:55 AM
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My father and I talked about this and we can't remember where we read/saw this. But an American Indian that was interviewed in the 20's or 30's and shortly before his death claimed to have been a participant in the hunt of the last known mastodon in the southwestern U.S. during the late 1830's. Thought it was a cool story, but has anyone else out there heard that one or knows it's origins?



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 01:37 PM
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Latest response from professor Goldstein, when I asked about how easy it is to tell the difference between mastodons and modern day elephants. I also inquired about the DNA sequencing of both.


I think that the mitochondiral DNA of the African elephant has been completely sequenced and that the sequence of the
Asian elephant mitochondrial DNA is being worked on and it may already have been completely sequenced. The segment that my lab
has sequenced is only about 220 nucleotides long compared to the 14,000 - 16,000 nucleotides of the mitochondiral DNA of the
elephant.
By using computer programs, any DNA sequence can be compared to all of the sequences in GenBank and the programs will
tell you which sequences your sequence most closely resembles.
Our DNA sequence most closely resembled that of the mitochondria of the African elephant.



posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 09:21 AM
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Yes but "resemble" and "identical" are two different things...

Our DNA "resembles" the chimp's, but isn't "identical"...



posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
Yes but "resemble" and "identical" are two different things...

Our DNA "resembles" the chimp's, but isn't "identical"...


Very true, and I'm far from getting my hopes up. But with some effort and help at least it can be verified if the two bulls in nepal were just odd looking (but otherwise normal) modern day asian elephants. Or if they were a previously unrecorded subspecies, new species, or possibly mastodons.

I'm a realist and don't expect them to be anything prehistoric. But even so, it's good to find out what they are, even if it's just an offshoot of an elephant.



posted on Sep, 24 2004 @ 07:47 PM
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I think you're on the right track....





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