Reindeer herder finds baby mammoth in Russia Arctic

MOSCOW Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:17am EDT

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - A reindeer herder in Russia's Arctic has stumbled on the pre-historic remains of a baby woolly mammoth poking out of the permafrost, local officials said on Friday.

The herder said the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old mammoth calf Lyuba discovered in the same remote region four years ago, authorities said, adding that an expedition had set off hoping to confirm the "sensational" find.

"If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance," expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said in a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region's official website.

Scientists planned to fly the mammoth's remains to the regional capital Salekhard, where it would be stored in a cooler to prevent the remains from decomposing.

Giant woolly mammoths have been extinct since the Earth's last Ice Age 1.8 million to around 11,500 years ago.

Scientists worldwide were stunned by the discovery of Lyuba, named after the wife of the hunter who discovered her.

Arctic ice kept the extinct specimen so immaculately preserved that although her shaggy coat was gone, her skin and internal organs were intact.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel)

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Comments (4)
Wulff wrote:
The find should be no surprise as they have been happening there for centuries. I recall first hearing of this sort of event 50 years ago when I was in college. It was a part of myth, legend, lore, etc. that people in dire straits in this area in times past had not only discovered these finds, but had actually eaten them in order to survive. The sources seemed reliable at the time.

Aug 19, 2011 8:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gregory8 wrote:
In Russia, it is illegal to harvest the tusks of these mammoths. They pop up all over the place.

These beasts were quick frozen. First, they were buried by anvalanches of mud-water, then quick frozen. Some of them actually still have food in their stomachs

So, they didn’t decompose after death, neither were subjected to predator animals or bugs, etc.

Aug 20, 2011 7:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
egeria wrote:
Intellectually I know that there is no other meaning to the headline than what it is – a baby mammoth (preseved) was found in Russia.

But I couldn’t help a tiny twinge of incredulity because my first instinct, based on the headline, was to think the mammoth was alive. It’s possible to rediscover species thought to be extinct right?

Anyway. Had to laugh at myself for that one.

E.

Aug 22, 2011 7:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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