A 30,000 year old baby woolly mammoth has been discovered in North America, and it is the most intact animal that has been found from that era.
It is not often that remains of any sort of animal or species are found in North America. However, that has all changed because of a massive find by a team of Paleontologists that found the remains of a baby woolly mammoth in Yukon, Canada. This is a huge find, especially because the animal was stuck in permafrost, resulting in its remains being mummified. The skin of the woolly mammoth is still intact, leaving the researchers giddy with excitement about their find. They have named the calf: Nun cho ga. This translates to “big baby animal” in the Hän language. You can see images of the animal below:
This baby woolly mammoth was found by miners working in the Klondike gold fields within Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Traditional Territory. This is the most preserved animal that has ever been found. Paleontologist Dr. Grant Zazula said in a statement, “As an ice age paleontologist, it has been one of my lifelong dreams to come face to face with a real woolly mammoth.” That must feel like a career-defining moment to find an animal from the ice age. Especially one that has been preserved so well through permafrost. The excitement of this find was echoed by a miner that had found the animal, Brian McCaughan. According to McCaughan, “There will be one thing that stands out in a person’s entire life and I can guarantee you this is my one thing.”
According to the data that has now been collected on the animal, researchers have determined this baby woolly mammoth lived around 30,000 years ago. This was done through DNA analysis on the samples of the permafrost taken from environments around where the mammoth was found. What is more interesting is the animal still has its skin, trunk, and a bit of hair attached to its body. Also, the hooves still show imprints and grooves from when they had been traveling the lands. These prehistoric animals were known to have roamed the Yukon area as far back as 5,000 years ago, which had been determined in 2021. However, the grasslands that were once plentiful had disappeared 11,0000 to 14,000 years ago due to a shifting climate that resulted in mammoths, mastodons, and saber-tooth cats disappearing.
Research has also determined that this woolly mammoth also lived alongside wild horses in that area, both of which had been determined to roam the Yukon area as recently as 5,000 years ago. However, this baby mammoth is the oldest and most preserved of this animal. Interestingly, the horses that roamed alongside the mammoths are most related to the horses that we have now, leaving scientists to believe that North America was a native land to horses. Especially considering that scientists believe that horses existed alongside mammoths in the Yukon area. The former opinion had been that horses were brought over from Europe.
Anytime that remains are found from so long ago, anyone can be excited. What makes this find that much more special is that the woolly mammoth found is still mostly intact. This is huge considering most animals found are just skeletons or had missing trunks or some other missing part. None have ever been found with skin still attached. Scientists are going to study this baby mammoth deeper and determine what they can about the area they were found in.