A baby mammoth unearthed in the permafrost of north-west Siberia could be the best preserved specimen of its type, scientists have said.
The six-month-old female calf was discovered when reindeer herder Yuri Khudi stumbled across the frozen carcass near the Yuribei River, in Russia's Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, in May of this year.
Thought to have died 10-thousand years ago, the animal's carcass is so well-preserved, that its trunk and eyes are still intact and some of its fur remains on the body.
The 130centimetre (4feet 3inches) tall, 50 kilogram Siberian specimen dates to the end of the last Ice Age, when the great beasts were vanishing from the planet.
Alexey Tikhonov, deputy director of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences suggested that information gathered from studying mammoths could prove invaluable when researching climate change.
"It (the mammoth) through a long period of time when the climate was changing. And now, when the climate is changing, we of course should base our research (on climate change) on the knowledge we have received from them," Tikhonov said.
Mammoths are an extinct member of the elephant family.
Adult mammoths often possessed long, curved tusks and a coat of long hair.
The frozen carcass is to be sent to Japan for detailed study.
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