Woolly mammoths shook the ice-age tundras for millennia, living next to prehistoric humans. In 1994, Erika Hagelberg at the University of Cambridge, UK, and Matthias Höss at the Institute of Zoology, Germany, independently reported extracting DNA from Siberian mammoth bones 9,000 to 50,000 years old. In 1994, this was the oldest DNA ever recovered. The studies targeted mitochondrial and ribosomal sequences, respectively, because each cell contains many copies of both. In 2008, the woolly mammoth’s nuclear genome was reported – the first complete genome-wide sequence ever obtained from an extinct animal.
Did you know? Woolly Mammoths are famous for their extra-long tusks, which measured up to 15 feet on the biggest males.