Recently, the mummified remains of a complete woolly mammoth baby were discovered in Canada. This is certainly not the first time that the remains of a woolly mammoth have been discovered. However, this discovery has attracted some enthusiastic researchers who want to go through it in detail. So what makes this discovery so interesting? Let’s find out!
A miner discovered a mummified woolly mammoth in the Canadian Klondike region.
The Klondike region in the Yukon Territory of Canada is famous for its gold fields. But in the year 2022, when a miner goes to the area, he finds something more valuable than gold. Discover the remains of a baby woolly mammoth buried in the permafrost within the traditional grounds of Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin. This woolly mammoth, which is believed to have been dead for at least 30,000 years, was determined to be female.
Considering how this discovery was made in First Nations territory, it was only appropriate to name the baby mammoth in their language. Thus, the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin elders called the small frozen creature “Nun cho ga”. In the Han language, this means “big child”.
The researchers are no doubt excited about what this could mean for our understanding of the majestic woolly mammoth. But they aren’t the only ones thrilled. According to Trondik Huochen President Roberta Joseph, the find is nothing short of “a wonderful refreshment to their First Nation.”
This is the most complete mammoth ever discovered in North America.
From a pure research standpoint, this finding is undeniably significant. For Ice Age paleontologists like Grant Zazula, the find is even a dream come true. But there is also something else that makes this find truly unique. It turns out that this small, frozen mammoth is the most complete woolly mammoth ever discovered in North America!
Of course, North America has had its fair share of similar discoveries in the past. For example, in 1948, parts of a mammoth calf were discovered from a gold mine in Alaska. However, none of these remains are as well preserved as this one. As a result, Nun cho ga has been considered a rather important recovery. Experts also hope to gain a better understanding of the woolly mammoth from this discovery.
It is so well preserved that many parts of its body are still intact.
Being part of the recovery of Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth found in the permafrost in the Klondike this week (on Solstice and Indigenous Peoples’ Day!), was the most exciting scientific thing I have ever been part of, bar none. https://t.co/WnGoSo8hPk pic.twitter.com/JLD0isNk8Y— Prof Dan Shugar (@WaterSHEDLab) June 24, 2022
What’s really incredible about this frozen creature is that it’s so incredibly well preserved. Experts note that the mammoth’s nails, hair, skin, trunk, and even the intestines remain intact. This then allowed them to make some interesting conclusions about it. For example, the grass in the stomach of an infant indicates that he was grazing early in his demise.
According to experts, the baby may have moved a little out of his mother’s reach and got stuck in the mud. After that, he would have been swallowed up by slime and suffocated. The ordeal of being trapped and buried is also likely to be very fast.
Unfortunately, Nun cho ga was only about a month old when he died. Had it grown into an adult, it would have reached a height of 13 feet (about 4 meters) at the shoulder. It would also have sported giant curved fangs to deflect opponents.
These mammoth remains were discovered in the past.
Woolly mammoths became extinct recently, about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. During their bloom, they roam the land alongside wild horses, cave lions, and giant bison. So, unsurprisingly, remains of woolly mammoths were discovered in the past as well. One of these finds was made in 2007 in Siberia. This infant was also a frozen woolly mammoth, about 42,000 years old and named Lioba.