Yuka (mammoth)

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Мамонтёнок Юка.JPG
The mammoth's mummified remains
SpeciesWoolly Mammoth
Died39,000 YA
Known forBest preserved woolly mammoth
Weight5 tonnes
Height3 m (9 ft 10 in)
External image
image icon Slideshow from Huffington Post
image icon Image from Discovery News

Yuka is the best-preserved woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) carcass ever found. It was discovered by local Siberian tusk hunters in 2010.[1][2] They turned it over to local scientists, who made an initial assessment of the carcass in 2012.[3] It is displayed in Moscow.

The mammoth was found along the Oyogos Yar coast approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) west of the mouth of the Kondratievo River, Siberia (72° 40′ 49.44″ N, 142° 50′ 38.35″) in the region of the Laptev Sea. Yuka is a juvenile female natural mummy that was found near and named after the village of Yukagir, whose local people discovered it. This mammoth mummy was found as an overhanging ledge about 4 meters (13 ft) above the beach level in a low wave-cut bluff that was about 5 meters (16 ft) high. After its discovery, Yuka spent two years stored and preserved in a natural refrigerator, the local permafrost (‘lednik’), at Yukagir. At that time, the first scientists, P. Lazarev and S. Grigoriev, from the Mammoth Museum (Sakha Academy of Sciences, Yakutsk) arrived to study these mummified remains. By then, more than 100 meters (330 ft) of the low bluff had washed away. From Yukagir, the Yuka mammoth was transported to the Sakha Academy of Sciences in Yakutsk.[4][5] Since October 2014, the mammoth has been on display in Moscow and is regarded as being the best preserved Siberian mammoth so far discovered.[6]

The north-facing bluff was composed of loess that forms part of a rich Late Pleistocene fossil-bearing yedoma exposed by coastal erosion. The yedoma consists of ice-rich silts and silty sand penetrated by large ice wedges, resulting from sedimentation and syngenetic freezing. AMS-dating of a fragment of Yuka's rib from these deposits yielded a radiocarbon date of 34,300+260/−240 14C (GrA-53289). This date corresponds to the termination of the Marine Isotope Stage 3, which is also called the Middle Weichselian, Kargin or Molotkov Interstadial.[4][5]

An analysis of the teeth and tusks determined Yuka to be approximately 6–8 years old when it died. Although it is presumed that this mammoth had most likely been attacked by lions or other predators, evidence that the predators had killed the mammoth was not found.[4][5]

In March 2019, researchers from Japan working with Yuka's tissue reported that they were able to stimulate nucleus-like structures to perform some biological processes; however, they could not activate[7] cell division.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yirka, Bob (April 5, 2012). "Well preserved mammoth from Siberia shows signs of early man stealing from lions". Phys.org. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  2. ^ Potter, Ned (April 5, 2012). "Woolly Mammoth Apparently Butchered by Ancient Humans". ABC News. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Aviss, Ben (April 4, 2012). "Woolly mammoth carcass may have been cut into by humans". BBC News. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Rudaya, N., Protopopov, A., Trofimova, S., Plotnikov, V. and Zhilich, S., 2015. Landscapes of the ‘Yuka’ mammoth habitat: A palaeobotanical approach. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 214, pp.1-8.
  5. ^ a b c Maschenko, E., Potapova, O., Boeskorov, G., Agenbroad, L., 2012. Preliminary data on the new partial carcass of the Woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, from Yakutia, Russia. Abstracts of the 72nd Annual SVP Meeting, October 17–20, 2012. p.137.
  6. ^ "39,000 year-old mammoth goes on display in Russia". BBC News. 29 October 2014.
  7. ^ Yamagata, Kazuo; et al. (11 March 2019). "Signs of biological activities of 28,000-year-old mammoth nuclei in mouse oocytes visualized by live-cell imaging". Scientific Reports. 9 (1): 4050. Bibcode:2019NatSR...9.4050Y. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40546-1. PMC 6411884. PMID 30858410.

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