Baby Mammoth Mummy: Frozen in Time: A Prehistoric Animal's Journey into the 21st Century

Baby Mammoth Mummy: Frozen in Time: A Prehistoric Animal's Journey into the 21st Century

by Christopher Sloan
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
The frozen remains of a perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth are accidentally discovered on a snowy plain in Siberia, and the exciting investigation begins. These animals disappeared about eleven thousand years ago, and occasionally some mammoth bones and tusks are found in this region. This whole mammoth was found by nomadic reindeer herders known as the Nenets in May of 2007. This nonfiction text tells how Yuri Khudi and his sons make the discovery while hunting, and how the mammoth eventually is sent to a museum in Salekhard where researchers, led by Bernard Buigues, begin their investigation. A map shows where it was found, and information is given about the history of the different types included in the order of proboscideans with a graph and illustrations of the animals. The second chapter relates the details of the investigation of the mammoth that they have named Lyuba. Intricate studies using machines, a CT scanner, and dissections reveal facts such as how she died, and how long she lived. A timeline helps explain how scientists determine when the animal lived. A third chapter provides descriptions of what the world was like in the age of mammoths and theories about why they disappeared. The photographs and illustrations are excellent. The text contains a glossary, an index, and a page of resources. This thorough examination of the discovery and investigation makes this text an outstanding educational resource. Reviewer: Vicki Foote
School Library Journal
Gr 5–7—A startling discovery, a theft, and a global procession of forensic sites all play a part in this scientific look at a great paleontological find. From CAT scans to the use of surgical cameras, the mummy of a baby mammoth found dislodged from Siberian ice undergoes veritable CSI treatment in the Netherlands, Japan, the U.S., and in her Russian homeland as scientists scramble to discover her historic age (42,000 years), her chronological age (32 days), her diet (mother's milk), and the cause of her demise (suffocation in mud). Sloan's clear, readable text follows this journey in nicely defined stages, with explanations along the way for possibly unfamiliar processes. Plentiful photos, a pair of maps, some diagrams, and colorful artwork accompany the information. The whole is rounded out by a look at little "Lubya's world," the possible causes of mammoth extinction, and the possibility of re-creating "the Mammoth Steppe," complete with mammoths. Further-reading and online resources are adult, and the brief glossary consists mostly of technical terms. Baby animals are appealing in and of themselves, and the tragic death and scientific "resurrection" of this tiny tusker will attract researchers and general readers. Team this title with Sandra Markle's elegant Outside and Inside Woolly Mammoths (Walker, 2007) and/or Windsor Chorlton's look at the Jarkov discovery in Woolly Mammoth: Life, Death, and Rediscovery (Scholastic, 2001) for a look into a not-so-distant past (when New York City was buried under a mile of ice).—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426308659
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
379,174
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
NC1120L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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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