Baby mammoth unearthed in Yamal is 37,000 years old - scientists

TYUMEN, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - An international group of scientists in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area said a frozen baby mammoth named Lyuba died 37,000 years ago, the local governor's press service said Wednesday.

The carcass of the one year-old female woolly mammoth calf, measuring 130 cm (4.3 feet) from the base of the trunk to tail and 85 cm high (2.7 feet) was found on May, 25, near the Yuribei river in Russia's Arctic Yamal peninsula. Lyuba was named after the wife of Yury Khudi, a reindeer breeder, who came across the freeze-dried body, which emerged from an eroded riverbank.

The 50-kg (110 lb) mammoth body is scientifically unique, as it is remarkably well-preserved with its eyes and trunk almost intact, and its skin even has some fur.

"In terms of its state of preservation, this is the world's most valuable discovery," Alexei Tikhonov, of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Zoological Institute said earlier, adding that the calf has no defects except for a missing tail and right ear lobe.

Lyuba, which is now being kept in a museum refrigerator in Salekhard, will be transported in November to St. Petersburg, to join a male baby mammoth called Dima, unearthed in Magadan in Russia's Far East in 1977. In December it will be sent to the Jikei University in Tokyo for a three-dimensional computer scanning of its muscular tissues and internal organs.

"We have been waiting for this research for 20 years, and we expect to achieve significant results," said Professor Naoki Suzuki, who will carry out the scan.

In July 2008 a full-scale scientific expedition will travel to the site where Lyuba was found.

Mammoths, giant mammals known for their furry coats, huge tusks and massive bulk, are said to have appeared some 4.8 million years ago. While most mammoths died out approximately 12,000 years ago, its dwarf version - woolly mammoth - survived on Russia's Wrangel Island, located in the Arctic Ocean, up until 1700 BC.

The best-preserved mammoth remains are found all across Siberia.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала