Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cold calves

Lyuba and Khroma (IMAGE ABOVE, MORE HERE) are newborn mammoths that lived 40,000 years ago and are now providing unprecedented details about the early development of prehistoric pachyderms. Lyuba, discovered by reindeer hunters in 2008, was only one month old when she died in northwest Siberia. Khroma was found in 2009, 3,000 miles away in northeast Siberia, and had died at the age of only two months. American paleontologist and lead author of the newly published study, Daniel Fisher of the University of Michigan, explains, "This is the first time anyone's been able to do a comparative study of the skeletal development of two baby mammoths of known age. This allowed us to document the changes that occur as the mammoth body develops. And since they are both essentially complete skeletons, they can be thought of as Rosetta Stones that will help us interpret all the isolated baby mammoth bones that show up at other localities."

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