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A Baby Mammoth Lyuba
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 13 Apr 2012

A Baby Mammoth Lyuba


Sometimes, nearly intact mammoths are found in the permafrost of Siberia.

A frozen and mummified baby mammoth was found in 2007 at Yamal peninsula. The species of the baby mammoth was woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and it was named as Lyuba. Luyba was about 1-1,5 months old when it died. According to radiocarbon dating, Lyuba died about 42 000 years ago.

In May 2007, Yuri Khudy’s sons were out looking for wood and discovered the exceptionally well-preserved frozen body of a baby woolly mammoth. Mr. Khudy is a reindeer herder and member of the indigenous Nenets people. Despite the belief by many Nenets that finding a mammoth is bad luck, Mr. Khudy traveled a great distance across snowy tundra to inform museum staff and public authorities of his discovery. His generous act saved Lyuba for science. In the years since, scientists from all over the world have examined Lyuba. The results of their studies provide insight into the extinction of mammoths, an examination of climatic and landscape changes of the past, and a window onto these processes in the future. Lyuba is the best preserved mammoth mummy found to date.

Named Lyuba (the Russian word for "love") by Russian museum officials, she is the most complete mammoth specimen ever found—and the most studied by researchers. She’s currently on loan to the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibition from the Shemanovskiy Museum and exhibition center in Yamal, Russia.

Lyuba's Preservation

Radiocarbon dating reveals that Lyuba (pronounced Lee-OO-bah) lived about 42,000 years ago. Her amazing state of preservation is due to three factors:

1. She was buried quickly after death in fine sediment that sealed off oxygen.
2. She was "pickled" by acids formed by bacteria that entered her body soon after her death.
3. She remained frozen in Siberia's permafrost over many thousands of years.

Lyuba's DNA is well preserved and represents a population of mammoths for which few samples exist. Her DNA may help us learn more about mammoth history.

Lyuba's Life and Death

Scientists have learned much about Lyuba's life and death through forensic analysis combined with modern imaging technologies, such as CT-scans and MRIs. For example, scans reveal that Lyuba was a healthy baby mammoth and suffered no broken bones before her death, which occurred when she was about one month old.

During their examinations, scientists also found that Lyuba's trunk, mouth, esophagus, and trachea were clogged with sediment, suggesting that she choked or asphyxiated and that her death was sudden and accidental. Scientists think that she suffocated in soft mud near a river channel.

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11.07.2012    Lucia

I can't believe we'll never get to caetbrlee our birthdays together this year, or the next, or the next even . and only you would throw me a surprise happy new liver-versary' party. You know how much I love you, how much we loved each other: you are

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 Tags: SoftFern News, SoftFern Tech News, intact mammoths, mammoths, Siberia, baby mammoth, mummified baby mammoth, frozen baby mammoth, baby mammoth Lyuba, mammoth specimen, Yamal
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