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Amazingly well-preserved 10,000 year old woolly mammoth pulled from Siberian lake


The mammoth remains were found by local residents by Lake Pechevalavato near the village of Seyakha. (TASS via Getty Images)

Extraordinary new pictures show how the awesome remains of a male woolly mammoth have been pulled from the silt of a Siberian lake.

The 10ft tall extinct hairy beast was so well preserved since the Ice Age that some of its soft tissue and skin is visible.

Astonishingly, scientists announced they have also found the monster’s fossilised excrement which will be analysed to understand the woolly mammoth’s diet.

The first remains were pulled out of Lake Lake Pechenelava-To on the Yamal peninsula in northern Russia last month but now palaeontologists have obtained around 80 per cent of the skeleton of a giant believed to be up to 10,000 years old.

The find – expected to be named Tadibe after is finder Konstantin Tadibe, a reindeer herder – follows two summers of extreme thawing of the Arctic permafrost that has kept the creature encased in an icy grave since ancient times.

The giant has remained locked in the ice for centuries (TASS via Getty Images)

The Siberian Arctic is now suffering unprecedented wildfires due to hot, dry weather.

‘So far we have one front and one hind foot well preserved, with tendons, soft tissues and pieces of skin,’ said Evgenia Khozyainova, an expert from Shemanovsky Museum in Salekhard.

‘We also have sacrum with adjacent vertebrae, including the tail preserved with tendons and a big piece of skin.’

The flesh from the young adult male has been put in a fridge for now to preserve it for scientific examination.

Scientists dig for the mammoth remains at the site. (TASS via Getty Images)

Missing so far are the ivory tusks – possibly stolen by ancient man after the beast died, or separated by the force of ice. The trunk is also absent.

And hopes that the brain of the beast had been preserved have proved false.

The mammoth – probably around 15 to 20 years old when it perished – may have become stuck in an ice crevice and been unable to escape, said Dr Pavel Kosintsev senior researcher at the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch on Russian Academy of Sciences, who took part in the excavations.

There are no signs of attack or butchering by ancient man, though its remains show evidence of animal predators gnawing at bones after it perished.

Scientists have recovered about 80% of the skeleton of the beast (TASS via Getty Images)

The excrement is seen as a significant scientific discovery, said Dmitry Frolov, of the Arctic Research Centre.

‘The coprolite was definitely left by this very mammoth,’ he said.

‘It is a very good find, as it can contain a lot of information about the mammoth diet, and the pollen of ancient plants.

‘We plan to study this very thoroughly.’

The discovery near Seyakha village is a potential boost for scientists in their efforts to obtain sufficient DNA from permafrost-preserved extinct woolly mammoths to allow the hairy giants to be brought back to life via a test tube.

Russian, US, South Korean and Japanese experts are all working to recreate the long-gone monster.

Scientists think the lake may be a graveyard of woolly mammoths and that other preserved animals will be found here.

The scientists faced problems when extracting the skeleton (TASS via Getty Images)

But they faced problems in extracting the skeleton.

‘Imagine you are digging a pit on a beach, at the water edge,’ said Dr Andrey Gusev, from the Centre of Arctic Research.

‘It was constantly filling with water and sand, so we had to pump it away every two or three hours.’

Woolly mammoths roamed the planet during the Ice Age and finally became extinct some 4,000 years ago in the Russian Arctic islands.

The beasts were around twice the size and weight of today’s elephants, reaching up to 18ft in height and weighing up to 12 tonnes.

Experts believe they may have stumbled onto a mammoth graveyard with others buried nearby (TASS via Getty Images)

The world’s best-preserved woolly mammoth named Lyuba was also discovered on the Yamal peninsula 13 years ago.

This baby with intact internal organs, eyes, trunk and some hair is believed to have died some 40,000 years ago, aged one month.

Another Yamal discovery of a woolly mammoth calf was made in 1988, called Masha.

The find of the new mammoth remains come after the thawing of the Arctic territories of northern Russia in an unusually hot summer.





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