An 11 year-old boy has discovered the carcass of a 30,000 year-old mammoth in the far north of Russia. Scientists say such finds are very rare and claim it is the second best-preserved mammoth ever discovered in the history of paleontology.
Evgeny Salinder, who discovered the mammoth on Cape Sopochnaya Kagra on the Taimyr Peninsula, Krasnoyarsk Region, told his parents about the find, who then contacted the authorities.
Scientists were stunned to find not just a skeleton, but also the whole hulk of the Ice Age animal. They claim the find is unique, and it can really tell a lot about the ancient animals. The remains of the mammoth are very well preserved complete with some fur, meat, fat and even organs. A similar discovery was last made in Russia over a century ago, Itar-Tass news agency reports.
Palaeontologists have begun a full-scale excavation work to probe the area for more remains.
It took scientists a week to retrieve that animal’s remains from the permafrost. They had to use special steam generators to free parts of the carcass from snow and frozen soil.
Initial examination of the mammoth remains revealed that the humps on the animals’ back are actually fat, similar to those of the camels. Previous hypotheses suggested that the humps come as part of the bone structure.
“We can see that this animal was very well adapted to the northern environment, accumulating massive amounts of fat. This animal likely died during the summer period as we can’t see much of its undercoat, but it had already accumulated a sufficient amount of fat,” Aleksey Tikhonov of the Zoological Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences told Itar-Tass.
The mammoth will become the main exhibit of the Taimyr Regional Museum, which has already agreed to transfer the unique find to the Russian Academy of Sciences for further study.
Palaeontologists have named the mammoth Zhenya (short for Evgeny) after the boy, who discovered it.