The mammoth, estimated to be at its 16 year when it died measured 2 meters and weighed 1,000 pounds, was excavated from the Siberian permafrost last month.
”It is the mammoth of the century,” said Professor Alexei Tikhonov of the Zoological Museum in St Petersburg.
According to a Russian scientist, the well-preserved mammoth could be attacked by another mammoth or an Ice Age man. It was best preserved remains of a mature mammoth but its DNA was already damaged and would be difficult to use for cloning.
The International Mammoth Committee working to recover and protect ancient remains: “We had to use both traditional instruments such as axes, picks, shovels as well as such devices as this ‘steamer’ which allowed us to thaw a thin layer of permafrost. Then we cleaned it off, and then we melted more of it. It took us a week to complete this task.”
A group of researchers from different countries have visited the site in September and they were surprised to see that the remains were not only made up of bones but in fact, complete with hair, one tusk and soft tissues.
“We can see that this animal was very well adapted to the northern environment, accumulating massive amounts of fat. This animal likely died during the summer period as we can’t see much of its undercoat, but it had already accumulated a sufficient amount of fat,” said Aleksey Tikhonov from the Russian Academy of Sciences .
Principal analysis on the creature’s remains has disproved that the big humps on mammoths depicted in cave paintings in European countries were not actually extension of their bone structure but great reserves of fat that helped them manipulate their body temperature during long winter seasons.
The mammoth, named as Zhenya after the 11-year old boy, is set to be the main exhibit in the Taimyr Regional Museum and will be transferred to the Russian Academy of Sciences.