MOSCOW – The frozen carcass of a baby woolly mammoth has been unearthed in a remote northern Siberian region, a discovery scientists said Wednesday could help in climate change studies.
The 4-foot gray-and-brown carcass, believed to be between 40,000 and 10,000 years old, was discovered in May by a reindeer herder in the subarctic Yamal-Nenets region.
It 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 Friday. "And of course when we talk about climate change, we must use the knowledge that we will get from them [mammoths]."
Woolly mammoths roamed northern Eurasia and North America for tens of thousands of years during the last Ice Age, disappearing about 10,000 years ago.
There is evidence that smaller-statured island populations persisted for much longer, with one group possibly lasting until 2000 B.C.
Tikhonov said the mammoth would be sent to an institute in Japan for further study.