Study of a sample from the Kuril Islands

Our team received a unique sample, selected by Sergei Kornev, the head of the marine mammal laboratory at the Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography. This particular sample was obtained from the skull of a Steller’s sea cow, discovered several years ago on Paramushir Island (Kuril Islands, Russia).

The history of the find can be found here.

Steller’s cow skull

It is planned to carry out radiocarbon dating of the sample to determine the time of death of the organism. Already at this stage it will be possible to confirm the hypothesis that the habitat of the Steller’s sea cow was previously significantly wider and gradually decreased to the Commander Islands.

Subsequent extraction of ancient DNA from a sample from the Paramushir Island and its comparison with DNA from samples sampled from the Commander Islands will make it possible to reliably determine the date when the separation of the two populations occurred.