Local officials said that the carcass of the baby woolly mammoth was as perfectly preserved as Lyuba, a 40,000 year old mammoth calf discovered in the same region four yearse ago. The new, still be be "named" calf was discovered sticking out of the permafrost. Although unconfirmed by authorities, they have sent an expedition to the region, hoping to confirm what they dubbed a "sensational" find.
In a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region's official website, expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said "If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance."
Once confirmed and completely unearthed, scientists plan to fly the animals remains to the regional capital of Salekhard, where it will be stored in a cooler to prevent the remains from decomposing. Giant woolly mammoths have been extinct since the last Ice Age, which occurred some 1.8 million years to approximately 11,500 years ago.
Lyuba was named after the wife of the hunter who discovered her. Arctic ice kept the specimen so well preserved that although the shaggy coat of the animal was gone, her skin and internal organs remained intact. Lyuba is shown above. The discovery shocked scientists.
Woolly mammoths are from a different family of the order Proboscidea than the other tusked prehistoric animals, mastadons, which also resemble modern day elephants. Mastadons are from the family Mammutidae. Woolly mammoths are from the family Mammuthus. While mastadons and mammoths superficially resemble each other, mastodons were browsers while mammoths were grazers.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons