Kevin Campbell, associate proffessor of environmental and evolutionary physiology at the University of Manitoba, has told the BBC as part of a new documentary about the discovery: “”These are remarkably rare finds and have huge significance.”
The body of the three or four year old mammoth has been perfectly preserved in the ice for almost 10,000 years, giving scientists a unique insight into the animals’ life.
It was previously thought that mammoths had darker fur, however, if this new body is anything to go by, the creatures had strawberry blonde hair.
More revealing though is the fact that the remains tell us plenty about the interaction between humans and mammoths.
“There is dramatic evidence of a life-and-death struggle between Yuka [the name given to the baby mammoth] and some top predator, probably a lion,” Campbell says.
“Even more interesting, there are hints that humans may have taken over the kill at an early stage.”
The young mammoth displays wounds that are in keeping with a lion attack but also carries scars that indicate it was attacked by humans, most likely after the aforementioned big-cat-mauling, indicating that its carcass was most likely pinched by humans after being left wounded.
Documentary Woolly Mammoth: Secret from the Ice is on BBC 2 at 9pm Wednesday April 4.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox