Crustacean remains from the Yuka mammoth raise questions about non-analogue freshwater communities in the Beringian region during the Pleistocene

Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 21;10(1):859. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-57604-8.


Frozen permafrost Pleistocene mammal carcasses with soft tissue remains are subject to intensive study and help elucidate the palaeoenvironment where these animals lived. Here we present an inventory of the freshwater fauna and flora found in a sediment sample from the mummified Woolly Mammoth carcass found in August 2010, from the Oyogos Yar coast near the Kondratievo River in the Laptev Sea region, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, NE Russia. Our study demonstrates that the waterbody where the carcass was buried could be characterized as a shallow pond or lake inhabited mainly by taxa which are present in this area today, but additionally by some branchiopod crustacean taxa currently absent or unusual in the region although they exist in the arid zone of Eurasia (steppes and semi-deserts). These findings suggest that some "non-analogue" crustacean communities co-existed with the "Mammoth fauna". Our findings raise questions about the nature of the waterbodies that existed in Beringia during the MIS3 climatic optimum when the mammoth was alive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crustacea*
  • Extinction, Biological*
  • Female
  • Fresh Water*
  • Mammoths*
  • Paleontology*
  • Russia