A baby mammoth unearthed in the permafrost of north-west Siberia
could be the best preserved specimen of its type, scientists have
The frozen carcass is to be sent to Japan for detailed study.
The six-month-old female calf was discovered on the Yamal
peninsula of Russia and is thought to have died in around 8000 BC.
The animal's trunk and eyes are still intact and some of its fur
remains on the body.
Mammoths are an extinct member of the elephant family. Adults
often possessed long, curved tusks and a coat of long hair.
The 130cm (4ft 3ins) tall, 50kg Siberian specimen dates to the
end of the last Ice Age, when the great beasts were vanishing from
It was discovered by a reindeer herder in May this year. Yuri
Khudi stumbled across the carcass near the River Yuribei, in
Russia's Yamal-Nenets autonomous district.
Last week, an international delegation of experts convened in
the town of Salekhard, near the discovery site, to carry out a
preliminary examination of the animal.
"The mammoth has no defects except that its tail was bit off,"
said Alexei Tikhonov, vice director of the Zoological Institute of
the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of the delegation.
Larry Agenbroad, director of the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
research centre in South Dakota, USA, said: "To find a juvenile
mammoth in any condition is extremely rare." Dr Agenbroad added that
he knew of only three other examples.