Tech UPTechnologyThey find a perfectly preserved mummified mammoth calf from...

They find a perfectly preserved mummified mammoth calf from 30,000 years ago


The experts – who initially searched for gold in the permafrost of Klondike (Canada) – who have discovered the mummified remains of the animal affirm that it is the most complete find in North America. The calf, named ‘Nun cho ga’, which means ‘large baby animal’ in Hän, ended up frozen in permafrost, resulting in the mummification of its remains.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Yukon government on the next steps in the process of moving these remains forward in a way that honors our traditions, culture and laws. We are grateful for the Elders who have been guiding us thus far and the name they provided.” said Roberta Joseph , chief of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, a group of First Nations who have lived along the Yukon River for millennia.


In excellent condition

Images of the remains show her skin intact with strands of hair still attached to the body. The ice age mummified mammoth is believed to be more than 30,000 years old. It is about the same size as the Siberian ‘baby’ – Lyuba – found in 2007, which was about 42,000 years old, according to the Yukon government in a press release.

While a partial mammoth calf was found in 1948 at a gold mine in neighboring Alaska (Effie), Nun cha go is the first nearly complete and best-preserved mummified woolly mammoth found in North America.

Thousands of years ago, this tiny female woolly mammoth calf lived alongside wild horses, cave lions, and giant steppe bison that once roamed the Yukon.

Yukon paleontologist Grant Zazula said, “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’m excited to get to know her more.’

On Twitter, geomorphologist Dan Shugar described his own experience helping to recover the mummified baby, noting the “incredible” preservation of the toenails, skin, hair, trunk and intestines. “Being a part of the recovery of Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth found in the permafrost in the Klondike this week (on Solstice and Indigenous Peoples Day!), was the most exciting scientific thing I’ve ever heard of. I have been a part , without exception,” he wrote.


Analyzing your DNA

The researchers isolated and reconstructed DNA from the offspring, showing fluctuating plant and animal communities at different times during the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene, which was an unstable climatic period 11,000 to 14,000 years ago when several large species such as mammoths, mastodons and saber-toothed tigers disappeared. The analysis also showed that mammoths and Yukon horses, which lived alongside mammoths, were already disappearing from Earth before the climate instability.

“The Klondike Placer Miners Association is delighted with this incredible discovery. We are proud to work with responsible placer miners like the McCaughan family, who regularly contribute to the Yukon paleontological record through their work. We extend our thanks to Brian and Sharon and the team, as well as the Yukon Paleontology Program and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in for coming together so quickly to preserve and celebrate this rare find ,” said Brian McCaughan of Treadstone Mining.

In the coming months, Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Yukon Government will work together to preserve and learn more about this find and share these stories and information with the Dawson City community, Yukon residents, and the global scientific community.

Referencia: Yukon government press release.

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