I was at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City today, and I saw the skin pictured below. Because it was next to stuff about wooly mammoths, I thought it might be a mammoth skin. However, there was no sign accompanying the skin. What is it from?
Yes, this is the remains of a wooly mammoth. Many mammoths have been found frozen and well preserved in Siberia.
Facts About Woolly Mammoths
Woolly mammoths were closely related to today's Asian elephants. They looked a lot like their modern cousins, except for one major difference. They were covered in a thick coat of brown hair to keep them warm in their home on the frigid Arctic plains. They even had fur-lined ears.
Their large, curved tusks may have been used for fighting. They also may have been used as a digging tool for foraging meals of shrubs, grasses, roots and other small plants from under the snow.
Though woolly mammoths went extinct around 10,000 years ago, humans know quite a bit about them because of where they lived. The permafrost of the Arctic preserved many woolly mammoth bodies almost intact. When the ground around riverbanks and streams erodes, it often reveals the corpse of a long-dead mammoth that looks much like it did when it died.
For example, in 2007 in Siberia, a pair of mummified baby mammoths were found. The bodies were so well preserved that CT scans found the mammoths died from choking on mud 40,000 years ago. The mud was like a "really thick batter that they got clogged in their trachea and they were unable to dislodge by coughing," said study co-author Daniel Fisher, the director of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology. "It basically prevented them from taking them another breath." [Last Terrifying Moments of Baby Mammoths Revealed]
Botanist Mikhail Ivanovich Adams recovered the first Siberian woolly mammoth fossils in 1806. Over a dozen soft-tissue specimens have been found since then.
Woolly mammoths were around 13 feet (4 meters) tall and weighed around 6 tons (5.44 metric tons), according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN). Some of the hairs on woolly mammoths could reach up to 3 feet (1 m) long, according to National Geographic.
Woolly Mammoth 8" Animal Skin
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Animals of the Tundra
Animals of the tundra, like this caribou, are well adapted to the cold and dry weather. Click for more detail.
Could you handle always living in the cold? Some animals can. Animals of all sizes have adapted to harsh weather conditions and long winters of the tundra.
Many animals have shorter legs and ears to minimize exposing their skin to the cold. Some are also well adapted to living high up in the mountains. For example, mammals at high elevation are able to use oxygen more efficiently.
Small creatures, such as ground squirrels, can seek refuge in vegetation but because it’s usually sparse and low, it may expose them to predators. To avoid danger, some species have evolved to be fast runners or to be camouflaged.
The mixed fur colors of this arctic fox show the white winter coat giving way to the dark summer coat. Click for more detail.
Between summer and winter, the grayish-brown fur of snowshoe hare, arctic fox, and others like them blends into white hairs in preparation for winter camouflage.
Sometimes prey animals feed at night to avoid being eaten. They may also reproduce a lot since not all young will survive to adulthood.
Breakthrough advances in genomic biotechnology are presenting the possibility of bringing back long-extinct species — or at least “proxy” species with traits and ecological functions similar to the extinct originals.
The Woolly Mammoth has emerged as a leading candidate for this work. It can be attempted because a close relative of the mammoth is still living—the Asian elephant. Thanks to the similarity of their genomes, the genes of woolly mammoth traits can be edited into the Asian elephant genome, and the combination brought to life as an elephant cousin, once again adapted to the conditions of the far north.
The ultimate goal of Woolly Mammoth Revival is to bring back this extinct species so that healthy herds may one-day re-populate vast tracts of tundra and boreal forest in Eurasia and North America. The intent is not to make perfect copies of extinct Woolly Mammoths, but to focus on the mammoth adaptations needed for Asian elephants to thrive in the cold climate of the Arctic. The milestones along the way range from developing elephant tissue cultures to genome editing and most importantly, developing insights that help with Asian elephant conservation.
The Harvard Woolly Mammoth Revival team headed by George Church (the Church Lab) is working to identify cold climate adapted alleles of the mammoth genome and edit them into living elephant cells. From there, scientists will study the expression of Woolly Mammoth mutations to test predictions about gene function. Specifically, how does evolution shape the same gene to be adapted to tropical habitats in one lineage, while adapting an alternate version of that gene to cold habitats? Not only does this research build the foundations of mammoth de-extinction, it provides potentially valuable insight to evolution for different climate conditions. These insights may demonstrate techniques to apply genetic biotechnologies to facilitate adaptation for wildlife threatened by climate change.
Along the way, we learned of a serious threat of a virulent strain of herpes affecting Asian elephants. To date, no research team has been able to culture the virus from tissue samples, making it impossible to develop vaccines or treatments. The Church Lab is attempting to synthesize the virus in vitro from its sequenced genome in order to develop a version of the virus that can be cultured—the first step in finding a cure. This effort is one of the world’s first projects using synthetic biology to study and treat a wildlife disease. In other words, the mammoth de-extinction effort may confer significant, near-term benefits to Asian elephant conservation.
To get from the genome work in the lab to herds of Woolly Mammoth thriving in their native habitat will take many steps and many years. Revive & Restore is taking initial responsibility for managing those steps. We will begin with organizing workshops and conferences assembling the many specialists—from elephant reproduction veterinarians to steppe ecologists—needed to eventually complete the Woolly Mammoth saga. Everyone involved shares the belief that each step of this process should bring conservation benefits to the imperiled Asian elephant.
Which animal has the stretchiest mouth?
A dog with six tennis balls in its mouth is just the start.
A golden retriever named Finley Molloy enjoys picking up tennis balls so much, he can stretch his jaws and cheeks to fit six in his mouth at once, according to Guinness World Records. Finley is undoubtedly a good boy, but how does his achievement compare with other stretchy animal mouths?
In other words, which animal has the stretchiest mouth? It turns out there isn't a scientific consensus on this cheeky characteristic. However, there are certainly a few standout contenders.
Some animals, including many rodents and certain monkeys, including the mandrill, have expandable pouches in their cheeks to store food. Hamster cheeks are perhaps the best example, with pouches capable of holding up to 20% of the animal's entire body weight, according to Business Insider.
Snake mouths can stretch even further, as they can take on whole meals in a single, massive bite. For instance, a non-native Burmese python in Florida managed to stretch its mouth enough to swallow a white-tailed deer that was heavier than itself, Live Science reported in 2018. Snake jaws are connected to flexible ligaments rather than to their skulls, which extend to accommodate larger prey, Live Science previously reported. It's a neat trick, and snakes&rsquo mouths may be more flexible than any other mouth on land. In water, however, things get even more stretchy.
The largest animals on Earth also have some of the stretchiest mouths. Blue whales and fin whales &mdash the largest and second-largest living animals, respectively &mdash belong to a family of whales known as rorquals, according to the University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web (ADW). These whales can stretch their mouths to engulf water containing whole groups of prey, such as krill or fish, in a single mouthful.
The easiest way for animals to catch prey suspended in water is to take the water in too, by expanding the space inside their mouths, Alexander Werth, a biology professor and whale researcher at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, told Live Science. "Whales do this on a remarkable scale. They pull in massive quantities of water so that they go from being a slim, sleek creature to something that looks like a tadpole with a little tail out the back."
Rorquals have expandable grooves, called throat pleats, that extend all the way from their jaws down to their umbilicus (belly button) to help them hold water, according to Werth. Blue whales can potentially hold more than 26,000 gallons (100,000 liters) of water at a time, he said.
"If you can imagine a 1-liter [0.2 gal] bottle of water or soda, and then imagine 100,000 of those. It's just mind-boggling, it's gobsmacking how much water that is," Werth said. The volume of water these animals can hold increases with body length as a cube, rather than a square, and so longer whales can engulf disproportionately more water than shorter whales, according to Werth. "I would say that blue whales and large fin whales not only engulf the most water [of any living animal], but they probably have the stretchiest mouths."
Werth compared rorqual feeding with a pelican's pouch &mdash another animal mouth deserving of accolades. Pelicans have a stretchy piece of skin under their bill that they use to scoop up fish from the water. Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) can hold up to 3 gal (11 liters) of water in their pouches, according to ADW. That's three times more volume than pelicans can hold in their stomachs.
A pelican's pouch is flexible enough to cover some of the bird's own body when it stretches. This stretch looks so bizarre, there's a social media meme claiming that pelicans can take their spines out of their mouths to cool down. In reality, their necks are just pushing up against the loose skin from their pouches, according to AFP Fact Check.
Pelican pouches inspired the name of the final animal in this mystery &mdash the pelican eel or gulper eel (Eurypharynx pelecanoides). Pelican eels can almost be seen as a combination of everything that has come so far, with snake-like bodies, whale-like feeding techniques and pouch-like skin capable of expanding in just about every direction.
Pelican eels live deep in the ocean and have been recorded 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) below the surface, according to the Australian Museum. In recent years, deep-sea researchers have captured some truly spectacular videos of pelican eel heads expanding to many times their normal size.
No official estimates exist, but the below video appears to show that in one instance, a pelican eel expanded its mouth to more than five times its original size.
"It's very interesting because the mouth and the head are very flexible and inflatable, and sometimes they look like balloons flapping around," David Smith, a research associate and eel specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., told Live Science.
Pelican eels likely suck in their prey with huge mouthfuls of water, but little is known about their everyday lives, according to Smith. "We don't know much about the behavior of these things, their social interaction, their mating behavior, we just don't know anything about that, so we're kind of flying blind here."
Smith added that there is a lot we don't understand about the ocean in general, and we still don't know all of the species that live in it. So, consider the pelican eel a placeholder for the stretchiest animal mouth while scientists continue to study and catalog life on Earth.
Diseases Caused due to Fungi in Animals
This is a chronic disease of horses caused by a fungus Histoplasma (Crypto- coccus) farciminosus and characterised by inflam­mation and suppuration of the cutaneous and subcutaneous lymphatic vessels and glands.
Chiefly horses, mules and donkeys but cases have been recorded in cattle.
It gains entry through a wound or abrasion either on the skin or of a mucous surface. The disease is spread by harness, grooming tools etc. which have come in contact with diseased animals. The parasite shows con­siderable vitality outside the animal body.
It is usually a matter of weeks or months (average 6 to 8 weeks) and the spread of disease is slow and insidious. Even by means of experimental inoculation, incubation takes one month.
The first signs of the disease are often thickening or “Cording” of a lymphatic vessel and adjacent gland. The lesions start from a wound or abrasion on any part of the body, the commonest site being the legs. The first sign noted is nodules up to a size of a walnut along the lymphatic vessels leading from the site of infection which, as the disease progresses, suppurate. The lymph glands into which the vessel drains swell and often develop large abscesses.
These abscesses and suppurated nodules referred to above ultimately burst—discharging creamy white or faintly yellow thick pus. Later on, these areas turn into ulcers with a red granulating base which have little tendency to heal. The forelimb—from the shoulder to the knee—is perhaps the usual site. Tumour-like masses may be seen at the shoul­der and a thick cord may run down the limb. The larger masses may not burst at all if left alone.
When a limb is affected, it shows consider­able thickening from chronic lymphangitis.
The characteristic feature of the disease is that the affected animal presents no constitutional disturbance even when extensive lesions are present.
This disease may be confused for Farcy. In this disease, the pus is thick and creamy, on examination of which Histoplasma (Cryptococcus) farciminosus is de­monstrable whereas in Farcy, the pus is yellow­ish grey, viscid, occasionally reddish and is oily in appearance. Besides, there is the Mallein test to differentiate Farcy from Epizootic lymphangitis.
Benign cases may heal sponta­neously but malignant cases resist all forms of treatment. In general, exposure to direct sunlight, dry air, good feeding with much nitrogenous food and rest have a favourable influence on the disease and this explains why in tropical and subtropical regions, recovery is’ more frequent than in other countries.
Treatment consists in surgical excision of all affected nodes, cords and ulcers with antiseptic dressing. Ulcers treated locally with a.2% methyl­ene blue solution hastens their healing.
Injection of the following is reported to have excellent results:
This is given intravenously once a day for 8 days and after a gap of one week for another 8 days.
Disease # 2. Ringworm (Dermatomycosis):
This is a parasitic skin disease of man and animals of a contagious nature and is caused by the fungi belonging to the genera Microsporon and Trichophyton. The organisms belong to the two genera of fungi Imperfecti, a large group of fungi whose life history is not completely known.
It occurs in all animals. It is commonest in cattle, occurring chiefly in calves.
Then—in order of susceptibility — horses, dogs, cats, pigs and sheep.
The young ones in all species are more sus­ceptible because of their finer skin, the same ap­plying to fine skin breeds irrespective of age.
Infection may spread from one species to another and to man by direct contacts or indi­rectly through infected articles.
It must be remem­bered that two important contributory causes of ringworm are:
(1) Over-crowding of animals into unhygienic, badly ventilated buildings and
(2) General debility due to under-nourishment. There is of course seasonal variation.
At the commencement, rounded areas without hairs or with stumps of broken hairs are seen. The first manifestation of ringworm is that the skin becomes reddened or inflamed and a little whitish, greyish or yellow serum exudes from its surface and little nodule or vesicle form at each follicle. As a result, greyish or yellowish scales and later thick crusts or scabs form over, the areas, with subsequent develop­ment of suppurating surface under them, which, in course of time, causes these crusts to become loose and fall off.
These areas heal with new hairs growing over them. Sometimes, the lesions coa­lesce to form large irregular-shaped areas. New patches appear and repeat the process. Itching is most pronounced during the initial and terminal stages.
The lesions with crust formation is most com­mon in cattle and in case of horses and other animals, the patches are usually scaly or have a scab.
This is due to Trichophyton verrucosum infection. The lesions are nearly al­ways on the head and neck, rarely on the body. Specially the eyelids, lips, ears and above the jaw are affected. The lesions begin as a raised ring-­like patch on which the hairs stand erect. In a short time, the hairs fall off and the surface of the skin becomes covered with masses of scales heaped up into greyish-yellow crust. In calves, round the mouth and above the eyes, infection having taken place from the mother.
The infection is due to either Trichophyton or Microsporum. The lesions occur on the shoulder, back and flanks. The lesions occur in regular circles and seldom with any pruritis. The hair becomes matted in patches and this gradually extends until the whole area is denuded. The skin becomes raised and greyish white crusts are formed.
The infection is caused by four varieties — Trichophyton, Microsporum, Oidmella or Oospora. The lesions are most on head and limbs. These occur in circular patches which become denuded of hairs and later covered with loose crusts or scabs.
Infection is due to Trichophyton, Microsporum and Achorion.
The lesions are similar to what are seen in other animals.
Oral administration of Griseofulvin is the best and simplest method. Hard crusts must be softened and removed be­fore applying the remedy. For softening, equal parts of soft soap and lard are best which is applied with rubbing and left over for 2 to 4 days, with repetition if necessary. Addition of little quantity of Pot. carbonate to the above expedites the soft­ening.
Antiparasitic remedies such as Acid Salicyl, Resorcin, Coal tar, Napthalene, Creosote etc. in an ointment form is to be applied after cleaning as suggested above.
The fungi are known to be sensitive to oil and fat, hence, antiparasitic remedies should have oil or fat base.
In cases in which the lesions are not exten­sive, good results are obtained by application of the following:
Part of Iodine in 1 to 5 parts of alcohol or Xylol. Since this remedy is irritating, it must be used with care.
Several antifungal ointments are now avail­able and can be used safely without causing any irritation.
Disease # 3. Aspergillosis:
This is a disease of mammals and birds produced by the growth of the fungus Aspergillus in the tissues of the body. The most commonly affected is the respiratory tract but it has also been seen in ears, mouth, throat and liver. It runs a slow course and often mistaken for tuberculosis.
The disease is produced by fun­gus Aspergillis where it causes a necrosis or death of cells and formation of small abscesses. Within the body, they grow out hyphae and produce more spores and these spread the infection further.
The animal appears dull and weak and the appetite is poor. There is no rise of temperature. The disease resembles contagious pleuro pneumonia or tuberculosis but symptoms are not characteristic. The breathing is difficult and often accompanied by a dry cough. The ani­mal does not thrive. The nasal discharge contains fungus or its spores.
The disease is not common. It is manifested by sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, according to the seat of fungus. It may resemble anthrax or anaemia.
Normally the animal contracts the infection from poultry. It is manifested by epileptic-form convulsions or symptoms that are not unlike those of rabies. There is severe scratch­ing or rubbing of the muzzle and there is dis­charge from nostrils which may be blood-stained. The disease runs a rapid course. Almost all the cases have occurred in the nasal cavities.
The air passages become filled with cheesy material in which the fungus devel­ops and breathing becomes extremely difficult. The bird gapes with its beak and gasps. Frequent sneezing and coughing are noticed. The sick bird remain isolated from the rest of the flock and there may be diarrhoea. A discharge with a repul­sive odour trickles from the mouth and nostrils.
There is no specific treatment and very unsatisfactory. Local infusions of Nysta­tin may be tried in case of valuable animals.
Dendrogramma: Two Unclassifiable Deep-Sea Animals Discovered off Australia
According to a team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, two species of sea-dwelling, mushroom-shaped organisms discovered off Australia cannot at present be placed in an existing phylum (primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom).
Specimens of Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides (with *). Image credit: Just J et al.
In 1986, Copenhagen University researcher Dr Jørgen Olesen and his colleagues collected these unusual organisms at 400 and 1,000 m deep on the Australian continental slope off eastern Bass Strait and Tasmania, and only just now described them as two species in a new genus, Dendrogramma, in the new family, Dendrogrammatidae.
The two species, named Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides, are multicellular and mostly non-symmetrical, with a dense layer of gelatinous material between the outer skin cell and inner stomach cell layers.
“The animals are composed of a body divided into a stalk with a mouth opening terminally, and a flattened disc,” the scientists wrote in a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Dendrogramma enigmatica. Image credit: Just J et al.
“The mouth is set in a specialised, lobed epidermis field, leading into a gastrodermis-lined gastrovascular canal in the stalk which aborally branches dichotomously into numerous radiating canals in the disc.”
“While the animals are certainly multicellular, the precise structural identity of the epithelia lining the gastrovascular canal and the external remain to be studied and compared to that of other metazoans.”
“Dendrogramma shares a number of similarities in general body organisation with the two phyla, Ctenophora (comb jellies) and Cnidaria (jellyfish, hydra, sea anemones, corals), but cannot be placed inside any of these as they are recognised currently.”
Dendrogramma enigmatica. Image credit: Just J et al.
The scientists also found similarities to 600 million year-old Pre-Cambrian extinct life forms, suggested by some to be early but failed attempts at multi-cellular life.
“Current evidence suggests that they represent an early branch on the tree of life, with similarities to the 600-million-year-old extinct Ediacara fauna,” Dr Olesen said.
Businessman Pierre-Etienne Binschedler won the bidding war for the prehistoric creature. Binschedler, CEO of a French waterproofing company whose mascot is also a mammoth, said the skeleton will feel right at home in his company's lobby in Strasbourg.
Author: Rebecca Staudenmaier (with AFP, dpa)
Questions to be answered
Miyamoto says he believes there are a number of questions that need to be addressed before the technology reaches the point that a resurrected mammoth is a reality.
"I cannot say that we should go ahead and bring these creatures back to life as there are many issues that must be considered," he said. "There are ethical issues, these animals may not be comfortable in the environment that we have today, there are countless things that have to be discussed."
"Right now, I am more interested in studying the factors that influence how animals become extinct and helping to prevent those that are in danger of dying out from disappearing," he added.
Clive Nicol, a British-born environmentalist who now lives in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture, agrees that caution needs to be exercised, but said that there are many potential benefits.
'Yuka' was transported from Siberia
"I believe that non-destructive science can be beneficial in some way or another, and it is clear that regenerating life can be positive, but I would personally prefer that we turn our attention and this sort of knowledge to endangered species that are on the Earth right now," he said.
"Up here in the mountains, there are fewer and fewer moths, bees, insects and small birds every year, or so it seems," he said, adding they are "disappearing at an increasing rate" due to the loss of their traditional habitats, interruptions in their food chains, the use of pesticides and chemicals, and more land being given over to farming.
"And then there are problems with issues such as poaching of elephant and rhinoceros in Africa," said Nicol, who in 1969 became the first game warden of the Semien Mountains National Park in Ethiopia – the first site anywhere in the world to be registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
"The work that these scientists are doing is fascinating, but I believe it is fantasy," he said. "Indeed, I hope it is fantasy when some people start talking about bringing these creatures back to go into theme parks or zoos," he said.
Synthetic biology’s latest unicorn Mammuty closes $100M Series A for cell-based meats from extinct animals
Meet the latest Silicon Valley cell-based meat startup taking on a completely novel market: woolly mammoth steaks.
Today, biotech startup Mammuty stunned the food tech industry with its announcement of its $100M Series A round to scale and produce cell-based meats from extinct animals. The company will use its proprietary combination of CRISPR, stem cell engineering, and DNA reconstruction technology to develop and market meat products from animals no longer on our planet — at least in living form.
Leading the investment round is Shanghai’s Rou Mei Capital, which cites China’s growing demand for alternative meats in recent years. China’s developing middle class has a new taste not just for Western style meats but also exotic foods, apparently including mammoth.
“Our team is passionate about extinct species,” said Michael Tusk, founder and CEO of Mammuty. “This project has broad implications for climate change, conservation, and animal suffering, in addition to bringing people around the world exciting, unprecedented food choices.”
Mammuty is based on research conducted by Tusk in the George Church lab at Harvard/MIT (a featured speaker at SynBioBeta 2019), and its early product development ran parallel to the Woolly Mammoth Revival project led by Revive & Restore. In 2017, it quietly began ramping up development and production in its facilities outside Shanghai. The company is based in the cell-based agriculture capital of the world, Emeryville, California.
Mammuty says it’s already inked distribution deals with Costco and another yet-to-be-named frozen food manufacturer. The startup says it will go after the $4 billion US luxury meat market, which is currently dominated by buffalo, alligator, and ostrich.
“Mammoths are the first documented animal to go extinct due to humans hunting and eating them, so we know they are delicious,” said Karl Handelsman, Investment Director at Codon Capital and a co-investor in Mammuty. “They also have incredible nutritional benefits as a foundation of the Paleo diet.”
Mammoth steak is only the first of several planned products for Mammuty. The company is developing a number of dinosaur meats for which preserved DNA has been found. Tusk also hinted at competing with companies like Ecovative, Modern Meadow, and Bolt Threads in producing rugged messenger bags from the cell culture of mammoth skin.
Response to Mammuty’s announcement has been mixed.
The National Beef Association denounced Mammuty’s plans to call its product meat. In a press release, they cautioned consumers to “be wary of special interests trying to influence how we label foods.”
Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods, is on record as saying that lab-grown meat from animal cells is one of the stupidest ideas ever expressed. His company produces a plant-based meat alternative that uses heme protein to mimic the taste of animal meat. “We could create a new meat variety today, and call it brontosaurus,” he said. “It would probably taste better than the real thing.” He has also said that VCs need to ask harder questions.
“It is highly irresponsible for these ‘Frankenchefs’ to engineer extinct animals’ cells to produce food for the rich,” said Dina Pierce, a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth. “We need to label these GMOs for what they are: Genetically Mammoth Organisms.”
The biggest risk for Mammuty and its investors may not be making the technology work, but rather, what does de-extinct mammoth meat actually taste like?
Tusk speculates that while natural mammoth may have been tough and coarsely grained like elephant meat, Mammuty can incorporate slightly gelatinous, sweet, and marrow components to balance both the flavor and texture.
Tusk said the company is working with celebrity chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Padma Lakshmi, and molecular gastronomists at New York’s renowned Mimikuku restaurant to develop recipes and menus suited to the new meat product. The mammoth could be paired with the equally exotic flavors and fragrances of long-extinct hibiscus, scurfpea, and conebush plants that have recently been resurrected by another synthetic biology unicorn, Ginkgo Bioworks.
With a sky-high valuation like this, only time will tell if Mammuty investors will walk away with the real taste of synthetic biology unicorn in their mouths.
Meet Mammuty and other leading cell-based agriculture companies at SynBioBeta 2019. Register today for 10% off with special discount code DeliciouslyExtinct
(Note: this is an April Fool’s Day article)
As Editor and Program Manager, Kevin leads SynBioBeta's digital media content, with the goal of telling the story of the people, companies, and ideas shaping the future with biology. Before joining SynBioBeta, Kevin managed the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. His interests include public engagement, science writing, community building, and bikes!