A local reindeer herder in Russia has come across a sensational discovery: the remains of a teenage woolly mammoth with soft tissue still intact.
Fragments of the skeleton, the skin, its feet, and soft tissues and possibly even the head of the mammoth were discovered washed ashore in the Russian arctic lake Pechenelava-To on the Yamal peninsula.
Climate change is heating up the Arctic at a faster rate than the rest of the world, leaving the remnants animals and artifacts of a time long-gone out in the open.
According to the Siberian Times, the woolly mammoth was found by a man from the nearby village who as walking near the lake when he stumped up the washed-up remains of a well-preserved woolly mammoth in the Arctic Lake Pechenelava-To, near the village of Seyakha, in the northern Russian peninsula of Yamal.
As revealed by experts, the woolly mammoth is at least 10,000 years old and is one of the most complete specimens discovered in Russia’s Arctic region.
In addition to its nearly complete skeleton, researchers say that they’ve identified the fossilized droppings of the animal, something that will help them understand the kind of food that the creature consumed around 10,000 years ago.
The woolly mammoth, who was dubbed Tadibe in honor of its discoverer Konstantin Tadibe, is one of the best-preserved examples discovered so far: researchers say that up to 90% of the animal has been found, with the remaining 10% likely still beneath the waters of the lake.
Experts even believe that they may have located the whole head of the creature, so they have hopes of recovering the animal’s brain, which would be the second of this extinct species to be preserved.
“Judging from what we saw at first glance, it could be a young mammoth, but we must wait for the study results to come back to determine its exact age at the time of death and how old the remains are,” said Dmitry Frolov, director from the Arctic Research Center.
So far, as many as three fossilized remains have been found at the Yaman Peninsula, which was likely a popular destination for woolly mammoths tens of thousands of years ago.
The world’s best-preserved woolly mammoth–dubbed Lyuba–was found at the peninsula thirteen years ago, back in 2007. Lyuba is thought to have been no more than a month old when she died more than 40,000 years ago.