17 October 2009
What is this baby mammoth lying on?
The photo above shows scientists preparing to perform an autopsy on a mummified, 40,000-year-old baby mammoth found in Siberia.
I'm puzzled by the board he has been placed on. On the floor is a piece of graph paper obviously for charting positions of features. But the board is inscribed with numbers from 1-32 in a sort of radial pattern, with lines converging at the center. It doesn't really show radial dimensions from the center (which would be superfluous when the lower paper shows x,y position anyway). And the numbers aren't related to 360 degrees.
It would seem to have a practical purpose - unless it was just a conveniently-sized board used to transport the little carcass.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I seem to have a brain freeze here...
Photo credit (RIA NOVOSTI/AFP/Getty Images)