Baby Woolly Mammoth Unearthed

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A nearly intact 30,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth was recently unearthed in the Klondike Gold Fields, of the Yukon Territory in Calgary Canada by a miner who was digging with a front loader when he felt something.

 

"The called his boss over to investigate and the two found the mummified mammoth buried in the mud. All mining work stopped so that two geologists could drive to the location, recover the extinct animal's remains and take samples of the site," LiveScience.com reported.


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Image credit: Dan Shugar/University of Calgary.

The infant woolly mammoth calf was found on Tribal land, and the elders of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin tribe named the Nun cho ga, meaning "big baby animal" in the Hän language.


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"As an ice age paleontologist, it has been one of my lifelong dreams to come face to face with a real woolly mammoth. That dream came true today. Nun cho ga is beautiful and one of the most incredible mummified ice age animals ever discovered in the world. I am excited to get to know her more," Yukon Paleontologist Dr. Grant Zazula.

The 4.5 foot infant female was estimated to be one month old at the time of her death. It is a stunning discovery attesting to the Ice Age, nearly 30,000 years ago.

Image credit: Government of Yukon/Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin.


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Quick Facts offered by the Canadian Government

A quick examination of the woolly mammoth suggests she is female and roughly the same size as the 42,000 year old infant mummy woolly mammoth "Lyuba" discovered in Siberia in 2007.

Geologists from the Yukon Geological Survey and University of Calgary who recovered the frozen mammoth on site suggest that Nun cho ga died and was frozen in permafrost during the ice age, over 30,000 years old. 

These amazing ice age remains provide an extremely detailed glimpse into a time when Nun cho ga roamed the Yukon alongside wild horses, cave lions and giant steppe bison.  


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The discovery of Nun cho ga marks the first near complete and best-preserved mummified woolly mammoth found in North America. A partial mammoth calf, named Effie, was found in 1948 at a gold mine in interior Alaska. 

The successful recovery of the Nun cho ga was possible because of the partnership between miners, Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Government of Yukon's  Department of Environment,  Yukon Geological Survey, and Yukon Palaeontology Program.

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