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Because elephants typically replace their molars about six times in their lives, identifying which pair of molars the mammoth had, as well as studying the wear on those teeth, can reveal soemthing about the mammoth's age.
In this case, the team determined that Buttercup was in her mid-50s when she died.
For one, DNA is delicate and must be stored at cold, constant humidity in order to be preserved.
Harvard University researcher George Church hopes to overcome those challenges one way or another.
These modern-day hybrids would have the hair, tusks, blood and other characteristic features of a mammoth, though much of the genome would be the elephant's.
On 18 October 1999, the 23 tons block of mud and ice was lifted via helicopter to the ice cave in Khatanga.
This particular mammoth is estimated to have lived about 20,000 years ago.
It is likely to be male and probably died at age 47.
[Read the full story on the mammoth autopsy] Frozen in time When the team dug up the carcass, they found that almost all of the carcass was intact, with three legs, the majority of the body, part of the head and the trunk still present.
The carcass also oozed a dark red liquid, which researchers hoped was blood.
(Photo credit: Renegade Pictures) If an entire, intact mammoth genome can't be found from tissue in Buttercup's carcass, Church is investigating other ways to recreate the extinct behemoths.