Ice-age baby goes on display in modern-day mall

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 April, 2012, 12:00am
 

The world's most well-preserved baby woolly mammoth made her debut at IFC Mall this week.

The month-old calf named Lyuba, which means love in Russian, drowned in a muddy river in what is now Siberia during the ice age.

After lying in her frigid grave for 42,000 years, she is on her first trip to Asia.

She was in a nearly perfect state when a reindeer herder discovered her in 2007. Apart from missing her right ear and a few toenails, Lyuba still sports some fur on her greyish skin. There were even traces of her mother's milk in her stomach.

Bernard Buigues, the French explorer who announced the find to the world, is still amazed how the extreme Siberian cold and the lack of oxygen from Lyuba's thick mud grave helped keep the baby intact.

Archaeologist Christina Elson says while Lyuba's discovery is significant, it is more fascinating to find out from her body how the great extinct species lived and what the ice age world looked like.

'Many people have perceptions that the ice age was very cold, but in fact, many large animals like rhinoceros and bison thrived,' Elson said. 'In spring and summer, Siberia was full of life.'

The exhibition, which includes a huge replica of an adult woolly mammoth, runs until May 10.

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