'Mammoth of the century'

2012-10-07 11:35
The carcass of a mammoth (AP)

The carcass of a mammoth (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - An 11-year-old boy from a nomadic family in Russia's north has stumbled upon a massive well-preserved woolly mammoth, in what scientists describe as the best such discovery since 1901.

Yevgeny Salinder, whose family lives near a polar station in the northern Taimyr Peninsula, discovered the frozen prehistoric animal when he was strolling along the banks of the Yenisei River in late August.

"He sensed an unpleasant odour and saw something sticking out of the ground - it was the mammoth's heels," said Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum, who rushed to the tundra after the boy's family notified scientists of the historic find.

Tikhonov said it was the best preserved adult mammoth discovered in more than 100 years.

"So far we can say it is the mammoth of the century," Tikhonov said.

"An employee of the International Mammoth Committee and me went to the site," Tikhonov told AFP.

"Judging by its legs, it turned out to be quite a large mammoth, it was lying on its right side at the height of 5m above sea level. We had to start the excavation as soon as possible and there were just the two of us," he said.

Joined by employees of the nearby Sopkarga polar station, the scientists spent five days digging out the monster.

Tikhonov said the mammoth had died aged 15-16 around 30 000 years ago, adding that the tusk, skin, an eye and an ear were clearly visible.

"Its one-metre-long penis is also intact so we can conclude that this was a male," Tikhonov said, adding it also had one 1.5m-long tusk.

"Its skeleton is virtually intact and its heart in the rib cage may be intact, too."

The precious find weighing nearly one tonne was transported to the northern city of Dudinka and will later be brought to Saint Petersburg and Moscow where scientists can study it.

Tikhonov said that geneticists might be interested in trying to clone the animal, dubbed Zhenya after the nickname of the boy who discovered it, but he suggested that this would be difficult.

Global warming has thawed the ground in northern Russia that is usually almost permanently frozen, leading to the discoveries of a number of mammoth remains.

- SAPA
Read more on:    russia  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
-1 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike

Watch this insane drift contest with four-times dirt-track World champion Karl Maier riding a speedway bike against a BMW M235i.

 
 

Men24.com

Want to start talking dirty?
Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.