A Russian man herding reindeer in the Arctic stumbled upon a perfectly-preserved, 40,000-year-old body of a baby woolly mammoth sticking out from the permafrost. The discovery came in the same area a mammoth calf dubbed Lyuba was found four years ago, officials told Reuters. An expedition team is being sent to the discovery site to examine the find and possibly recover it.
“If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance,” expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said in a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region’s website, NBC New York reports.
The global significance, of course, relates to cloning the species and bringing it back to life similar to what they did in Jurassic Park. If mammoths and saber-tooth tigers and dodos end up coming back to the planet to make survival more challenging, then we’re all for it.
Giant woolly mammoths have been extinct for at least 12,000 years. In the case of Lyuba, arctic ice kept the mammoth so well preserved that skin and organs were intact. She was named for the wife of the hunter who discovered her.
Woolly mammoths grew to as much as 10 feet tall and eight tons. Some scientists believe it could be possible to bring the beast back from extinction if enough well-preserved genetic material can be taken from a preserved carcass. It is believed to be most directly related to the Asian elephant.
Yeah, an extremely cool and rare Asian elephant. Scientists haven’t said how much well-preserved genetic material would be required and as much as the notion of bringing to life extinct species sounds, there’s a reason they are extinct. It strikes us as fool-hardy that one would tempt to actually pull a Jurassic Park.
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