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The world’s oldest baby: Ice age mammoth Lyuba goes on show

The carcass of a well-preserved baby mammoth, which was found by a reindeer herder in Russia in 2007. Pictures: AP/Getty

The carcass of a well-preserved baby mammoth, which was found by a reindeer herder in Russia in 2007. Pictures: AP/Getty


  • by CRAIG BROWN
 

THE carcase of the world’s best-preserved baby mammoth, a 42,000-year-old named Lyuba, has gone on display ahead of its exhibition in Hong Kong.

Lyuba was discovered by a Russian reindeer herder in the Ural mountain range in the Yamal peninsula of Siberia in 2007.

The carcase – which must be transported in sub-zero conditions – will now begin an Asian tour, taking in China, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan.

It is thought Lyuba was only a few months old when she died after drowning in a mud bath.

The mud effectively “pickled” the baby, preserving her in a nearly pristine state.

Although her woolly coat and toenails have disintegrated, her skin and internal organs are intact.

There were even traces of her mother’s milk in her stomach.

Scientists, based in Siberia, hope that studying the mammoth will help to explain what caused mammals from the Ice Age to vanish about 10,000 years ago.

They hope to discover if climate or hunting were the causes of extinction.

The discovery of another young woolly mammoth was announced last month. That animal, named Yuka, is thought to have been three to four years old when it died.

 

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