Baby Mammoth Mummy: Frozen in Time: A Prehistoric Animal's Journey into the 21st Centuryby Christopher Sloan
Meet Lyuba—the most perfectly preserved baby mammoth ever discovered! Found lying along a riverside 31,000 years after her birth, Lyuba provides a never-before-seen view of prehistoric life in Siberia. Together with award-winning author Christopher Sloan, kids learn the story of her discovery by the indigenous Nenet people and peak inside Lyuba’s mysterious prehistoric world. Readers will join scientists as they recreate Lyuba’s life and death using cutting edge science—including paleontology, radiology, and forensic science—and reveal new information about mammoths and their ice age home. Lyuba’s incredible story, which debuted as a National Geographic Channel exclusive and as articles inNational Geographic magazine and National Geographic Kids magazine, is certain to be a fascinating read for kids and a great complement to science curriculum.
Read an Excerpt
The whoosh of a sled pulled by reindeer sliced through the stillness of a snowy plain in Siberia. It was May. The tundra was still frozen, but in a few weeks it would begin to thaw. Yuri Khudi and his sons glided along the bank of the Yuribey River. They were taking advantage of the good weather to do some hunting. Perhaps they would spot a game bird or other small animal that would add some variety to a diet of fish and occasional reindeer meat eaten by the Nenets people, who have herded reindeer in Siberia for more than 800 years. The last thing Yuri expected on this outing was that he would make an important scientific discovery.
From a distance, it looked like a dead reindeer lying on a sandbar along the river channel. As Yuri drew closer, however, he thought it looked more like a baby elephant. How could that be? The nearest elephants lived thousands of miles away.
As Yuri and his sons stood around the little body lying on the sandbar, they were shocked by what they had found: a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth. It was frozen solid.
These animals disappeared from this part of the world about 11,000 years ago, but mammoth bones and tusks are a relatively common find in Siberia. It’s so cold in this Arctic region of Russia that the frozen soil, called permafrost, has acted as a giant freezer, preserving the carcasses of many animals that lived there long ago. As the top layer of permafrost begins to thaw in the spring, the bony remains of mammoths often appear as if they have burst from the frozen ground. But Yuri and his sons had never seen anything like this before—a baby woolly mammoth with all of its flesh in place. It looked like it could have died yesterday. They didn’t dare touch it.
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