LYAKHOVSKY ISLANDS, Yakutia, Russia (CBS) -- Russian scientists discovered the body of a mammoth in Siberian permafrost this week, with perfectly preserved blood and muscle tissue.
Members of the Yakutsk North-Eastern University expedition to the Lyakhovsky Islands in north-eastern Russia found blood in the ice cavities below the body of the full-grown female mammoth.
The scientists believe the animal could have lived 10, 000 to 15, 000 years ago. However, the tissue and the blood they found was very well preserved thanks to the permafrost.
"The meat looks quite fresh, it's reddish in color in some parts, but I can't say it smells fresh," Semyon Grigoriev, expedition participant and director of the Mammoth Museum of Russian North Eastern Federal University located in the city of Yakutsk, 280 miles south of the Arctic Circle, said.
The blood found under the mammoth's body was leaking despite a temperature of -10 Celsius at the location.
"We have put the blood sample into the freezer of the Mammoth Museum. It still did not freeze at -17 degrees Celsius. We need to study it thoroughly to draw any conclusions," Grigoriev told Russian television, suggesting however that the blood could have possessed cryoprotective features to help the animal survive long winters.
According to Russian media, this discovery is the first time scientists managed to obtain mammoth's blood so well preserved.
As for the animal itself, the expedition participants believed it died from starvation after it got stuck in a swamp.
"(Probably) the animal got stuck, and judging by its position, it was trying to get out but couldn't. It depleted its strength and most likely it died from starvation and blood loss," one of the university expedition participants, Evgeny Ivanov, said.
The mammoth's body will be kept in the Mammoth Museum while Russian scientists examine its DNA.
Previously discovered mammoth's bodies gave hope of a possibility to clone the long-extinct beast.
Scientists have made several attempts to revive mammoths using cells of remains since 1990s, but none of them have been successful.