Nail woolly mammoth calf almost perfectly mummified, died more than 30,000 years ago, was accidentally discovered by a gold miner in the Yukon, in northwestern Canada.
According reported local authorities, the discovery was called as “the most important and best preserved” of this mammoth species in North American history.
The calf was much better preserved than a tiny mammoth named Effie, discovered in an Alaskan gold mine in 1948, and Lyuba, a nearly complete baby mammoth discovered in 2007 in Siberia.
On June 21, a group of gold miners were found in the Klondike deposits in the Yukon, with an almost entirely mummified body as they dug into the permafrost. The Yukon region has a history with fossils of Ice Age animals; however, the remains with the animal’s skin and hair have never been found.
Left: Mummified mammoth found. Right: Search for a site.
Under the supervision of Dan Shugar, geomorphologist and associate professor at the University of Calgary, the mummified animal was extracted, after receiving the blessing of the elders of the Aboriginal community. Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.
Being part of the recovery of Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth found in the Klondike permafrost this week (Solstice and Indigenous Peoples Day!), has been the most exciting science thing I’ve ever been involved in, without exception. pic.twitter.com/JLD0isNk8Y
— Professor Dan Shugar (@WaterSHEDLab) June 24, 2022
The calf was named Nun Cho gawhich means “big baby animal” in the Hän language.
The baby mammoth had been preserved well enough that its nails, skin, trunk and hair remained intact. Even the baby’s intestines did not decompose and may still have the last meal in them.
Cause of death of 30,000-year-old baby mammoth
Nun cho ga would likely have roamed the Yukon alongside wild horses, cave lions and giant steppe bison. One day during the Ice Age, she probably ventured too far from her mother and got stuck in the mud, where she eventually succumbed.
Baby woolly mammoth found in Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin traditional territory, Yukon, Canada. Courtesy of the Government of Yukon
According to estimates by paleontologist Grant Zazula, the specimen died when it was around 30 to 35 days old. The geology of the find site indicates that the mammoth died out around 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. Radio Canada.
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study the remains of nun cho ga could help scientists better understand the life and behavior of woolly mammoths, the researchers said. The mummified calf could also provide new information about other animals in the Ice Age that once lived in the Yukon, including cave lions and giant steppe bison.
The woolly mammoth roamed our planet until about 4,000 years ago. Early humans hunted these giants for food and used their bones and tusks for art, tools, and even homes. However, so far scientists have not reached a consensus on whether hunting or climate change has driven them to extinction.
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