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First pictures & video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered mammoth shared by scientists

By Anna Liesowska
31 July 2020

Parts of massive skull were also found in silt of Yamal peninsula’s lake, but sadly there was no brain nor tusks.

The second expedition is finishing work at Lake Pechenelava-To and is flying back to Salekhard today. There is hope that the scientific team managed to pull pelvic bones and other parts of the skeleton that were buried deeper in the lake sediments. Picture: Artem Cheremisov

The discovery of the woolly mammoth with soft tissues intact was made by Yamal peninsula reindeer herders, who reported the sensational find to Salekhard scientists. 

The first scientific expedition flew to the village of Seyakha on 22 July. First cautious reports based on eye-witness accounts and pictures suggested that this was a teenage mammoth with possibly even its brain preserved. 

This would have been a dream for the world science, as so far there is only one preserved brain found in 2014 in Yakutia on a woolly mammoth called Yuka. 

Results of the first excavation confirmed that the mammoth was likely a grown up animal, and that while some of its soft tissues survived being in permafrost for at least ten thousand years, the brain didn’t make it. 

This doesn’t make the find any less sensational as this would be the first adult mammoth found on the Yamal peninsula.

First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists
First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists. Pictures: Artem Cheremisov


Parts of its skull - sadly without tusks which were either damaged by ice or got taken by ancient hunters - several large limb bones, a part of a forelimb with preserved soft tissues were extracted during the first expedition to Seyakha and are already getting studied. 

‘We managed to extract part of the skeleton, another part of it is still under water and clay. The material we collected is enough to carry first general analysis, for example, to establish the age of the mammoth’, said archeologist Andrey Gusev from the Arctic Research Centre. 

The second expedition is finishing work at Lake Pechenelava-To and is flying back to Salekhard today.

There is hope that the scientific team managed to pull pelvic bones and other parts of the skeleton that were buried deeper in the lake sediments. 

First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists



The new discovery is the first adult woolly mammoth found on the Yamal peninsula. Video: press service of Yamal governor


The world’s best preserved woolly mammoth named Lyuba was also found at the Yamal peninsula in 2007. 

Scientists have determined that the baby mammoth whose internal organs, eyes, trunk and some of the hair were intact died about 40,000  years ago at the age of one month. 

Another Yamal discovery of a woolly mammoth calf was made in 1988.

A three month old female mammoth named Masha was found by the captain and the sailor of ‘Porog’ ship some 20 kilometres from the mouth of River Yuribeteyakha.

Pictures below show two woolly mamoth calves found on the Yamal peninsula - Lyuba (top image), the world's best preserved woolly mammoth calf; below is Yuka, the mammoth found in Yakutia which currently has the world's only preserved brain and finally Masha, a calf found in 1988. Pictures: Shemanovskogo museum, RGO Russia 

First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists


First pictures and video of soft tissues preserved on a newly-discovered woolly mammoth shared by scientists

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