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Baby Siberian Woolly Mammoth goes on tour
« on: April 09, 2010, 12:49:00 AM »
Baby Woolly Mammoth Sets Out on U.S. Tour

Lyuba, a well-preserved baby Woolly Mamoth, was found in 2007 by a reindeer herder in Siberia’s Yamal-Nenets district.

Some 42,000 years after, scientists say, she fell into mud near a river and suffocated, an intact baby woolly mammoth from the Ice Age is to go on display for the first time in the United States at The Field Museum.

Scientists say the mammoth calf, named Lyuba, is the best preserved and most complete mammoth specimen known. She was found in 2007 by a reindeer herder in northern Siberia’s remote Yamal-Nenets autonomous region and named after his wife.

“Her preservation, her really lifelike qualities allow you to form a better impression of what the past was really like,” said Dan Fisher, a University of Michigan paleontologist and the museum’s exhibit curator. “It becomes more immediate. It’s real.”

Experts say the baby mammoth remained well-preserved because she was frozen in permafrost for thousands of years. Fisher also said her body was colonized by naturally occurring bacteria that produced lactic acid, which kept her body in a “pickled” state.

Lyuba’s body was immersed in preservative solutions for her Chicago display, scientists said.

The baby mammoth’s home institution is the Shemanovsky Museum and Exhibition Center in Salekhard, in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region.

“To get Lyuba for our exhibition is like getting the Mona Lisa for your exhibition on Italian art,” Skwerski said. | Forum