Pictured: Mammoth on display at Natural History Museum is perfectly preserved 42,000 years after death
The amazing discovery was made in 2007 by a Russian reindeer herder who named her Lyuba – scientists predict she was just one-month-old when she died
A perfectly preserved baby mammoth which died 42,000 years ago is on display at the Natural History Museum in London.
It was found in 2007 in Siberia, Russia, by a reindeer herder who named her Lyuba – Russian for ‘love’ – when he discovered her.
Paleontologist Professor Adrian Lister said: “To see a three-dimensional mammoth in the flesh is absolutely extraordinary.
“To be eyeball to eyeball with a creature from the Ice Age which is so perfectly preserved and lifelike, looking like she is lying down and might walk away at any minute, is really moving.
“I have to pinch myself to think she died 42,000 years ago.”
Lyuba measures 130cm tall and weighs 50kg – scientists predict she died at just one month old.
The baby mammoth was found when reindeer herder Yuri Khudi and his sons stumbled across it while searching for wood along the Yuribei River.
She’s almost fully intact, the only defect being damage to her tail which was gnawed off by other animals.
Her fur has almost entirely fallen off, making her resemble distant elephant relatives, and her body is slightly deflated thanks to being mummified under ice for thousands of years.
Lyuba was found to have clay in her trunk, leading scientists to believe she suffocated on it while trying to get water from the river near where she was discovered.
Mammoths first appeared on Earth some 4.8 million years ago, but died out around 5,000 years ago thanks to both climate change and human hunters.