Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Baby Lyuba: Woolly Mammoth Meets the World


Lyuba has become the world's best-preserved woolly mammoth, and an exhibition in Hong Kong has brought the creature out to the public eye!

As mentioned in the Huffington Post, this find actually dates back to 2007, when a reindeer herder found the one-month old baby's body---frozen for 42,000 years. The frigid river muck kept the mammoth so well preserved that during its Chicago exhibition in 2010, one observer remarked it "is almost perfectly intact, right down to its baby fat." All moisture is now removed from the body by means of specially designed "dessicative packaging."

Another mammoth named Yuka, with strawberry-blonde hair was found recently as well, frozen after a cliff fall, apparently, in Siberia. This one is about 11,000 years old. Its body contains signs of being cut upon by ancient people. If well-preserved sperm can be recovered, it's possible scientists will be able to clone this long-extinct creature.

The Russian reindeer herder found the older mammoth sticking out of the permafrost. Four years after the find, the carcass was recovered, brought to regional capital Salekhard, and preserved from further decay.

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