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Well-Preserved Frozen Young Mammoth Found

By Yona Williams    4/3/12

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Underneath the ice in Siberia, the well-preserved remains of a young mammoth were awaiting to be discovered. Researchers believe that he had been killed by lions, but was then butchered by humans at least 10,000 years ago. In this article, you will learn more about this discovery and why it is so important to scientists.

Uncovering the remains of the mammoth are considered a great find because it is the first relatively complete mammoth carcass that offers a glimpse at preserved soft tissues. Studying the creature will also allow scientists to learn more about the way humans associated with the animal. The mammoth is a juvenile that has been given the nickname of 'Yuka.' He was found in Siberian ice located close to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. The remains of the creature show signs that it had been cut open by people from ancient times.  

The frozen carcass is remarkably well preserved and is estimated to have lived at least 10,000 ago, and could possibly be older. After further studies, the find could mark the first mammoth carcass that links humans interacting with the creature in the region. Scientists will have a lot to work with as the carcass is in very good condition. The flesh is still intact – even displaying a shade of pink. The wooly coat of the mammoth is also intact, which shows a blond-red color.

Carbon dating will also reveal more information about the carcass. The process is still ongoing, but researchers are confident that Yuka died at least 10,000 years ago. When the animal died, it was around 2 ½ years old. A scenario has already been created to describe what may have happened to the mammoth the day that it died. It seems that Yuka was chased by one or more lions. It could possibly have been another large creature that left behind the deep scratches to the hide that did not heal. There was also bite marks on the tail.

The mammoth most likely fell and broke one of the lower hind legs. At this point, humans may have moved in and took over the carcass. They butchered most of the animal and removed the parts that they could use right away. The rest of carcass may have been buried so that it could possibly be used at a later time.

Parts of the main core of Yuka's body was removed – including the organs, vertebrae, ribs, associated musculature, and some of the meat from upper parts of the legs. The remains show that the lower parts of each leg and the trunk were not removed by the humans. Researchers feel that the humans were quite interested in the animal's fat and its large bones. There could have possibly been a ritual that involved the bones.

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