MOSCOW — The well-preserved carcass of a 10,000-year-old baby mammoth has been unearthed in the northern Siberian permafrost, a discovery scientists said could help in climate change studies.
The 4-foot gray-and-brown carcass, discovered in May by a reindeer herder in the Yamal-Nenets region, has its trunk and eyes virtually intact and even some fur remaining, said Alexei Tikhonov, deputy director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Zoological Institute.
The animal’s tail and ear were apparently bitten off, he said.
“The mammoth is an animal that you look at, and you see that there is an entire epoch behind it, a huge time period when climate was changing,” he said in comments broadcast last week.
“And of course when we talk about climate change, we must use the knowledge that we will get from them (mammoths).”
Scientists believe mammoths lived from 4.8 million years ago to around 4,000 years ago.
Studies suggest climate change or overkill by human hunters as possible reasons leading to their extinction.
Tikhonov said the mammoth would be sent to an institute in Japan for further study.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.