Boy finds intact carcass of woolly mammoth

Last Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 14:35

Moscow: A neighbourhood adventure has led a 11-year-old Russian boy to discover remains of a 30,000-year-old nearly intact woolly mammoth complete with skin, hair, bones and even reproductive organs.

Yevgeny Salinder found the remains of the mammoth on Sopochnaya Karga cape in Russia`s northernmost peninsula of Taymyr, the Moscow News reported.

The body which has been named `Zhenya` after the boy`s nickname is that of a male mammoth which died at the age of 15-16, approximately 30,000 years ago.

The total weight of the remains is more than 500 kg, and that includes the right half of the body with soft tissue, skin and hair, scull with one ear, a tusk, various bones and even reproductive organs, the Dolgano-Nentsky administration website announced.

It is believed to be the second best preserved mammoth discovery and the best mammoth find since 1901, when another mammoth was discovered near Beryozovka River in Yakutia, the paper reported.

Zhenya discovered the body 3 kilometres from Sopkarga polar meteorological station, where he lives with his family.

His parents informed scientific experts about the discovery after which the mammoth was taken to Dudinka in a helicopter and put in an ice chamber there.

The scientists found that the mammoth had a hump like that of a camel which comprised fat.

"It was first noticed in Paleolithic paintings, and everyone wondered why they had a hump. It was considered that it was because they had such large spinal bones. But it turns out that is not so, we have seen that this animal was excellently adapted to life in the north. It was storing large fat deposits for the winter," said Alexei Tikhonov, deputy head of Zoology institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences.

"Officially the animal will be known as the Sopkarginsky mammoth," Tikhonov added.
After the remains are studied, Zhenya the mammoth will move to Taymyr natural history museum as a showpiece.

PTI



First Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 14:35

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