This 42,000-Year-Old Perfectly Preserved Baby Mammoth is on Show at London's NHM

By Gerald Lynch on at

Having been covered by thousands of year's worth of clay, mud, ice and snow, this 42,000 year old baby mammoth is the most perfectly-preserved specimen of the extinct species science has ever seen. And, for a limited time, you can view the extraordinary remains at London's Natural History Museum.

The baby mammoth, named Lyuba after the wife of reindeer herder Yuri Khudi who discovered the remains, is thought to have washed up on the bank of the Yuribei River on Russia's Yamal Peninsula in Siberia after an unseasonably warm spring thawed out her resting place. Almost perfectly intact, save for a lost tail likely gnawed off by animals, Lyuba is thought to have suffocated while drinking from a snowy pocket or riverbed as a deposit of clay was found in her trunk.

So perfectly preserved is the specimen that even its internal organs remain, with scientists discovering trace elements of Lyuba's mother's milk in her stomach.

Mammoths first walked the Earth around 4.8 million years ago, before eventually dying out around 5,000 years ago. Lyuba's remains will hopefully help scientists figure out what caused the species to go extinct.

Lyuba will be on show at the Natural History Museum as part of the Mammoths: Ice Age Giants exhibition from Friday May 23rd until September 7th. Head on down and take a look -- it's the closest you'll ever come to a Jurassic Park experience. [Natural History Museum]

Image Credits: Prochats, NHM