On the frozen tundra of northern Siberia, scientists say a young woolly mammoth has been found, remarkably well-preserved after more than 10,000 years, and showing signs -- never seen in such detail before -- that its carcass was cut open by human hunters.
The animal was probably about three years old when it was killed, say researchers. It is in such good shape that pink flesh and reddish-brown fur remain. The mammoth was found in 2010 by local people; scientists have come from around the world to study it.
The mammoth, nicknamed Yuka, was probably attacked by top predators, perhaps lions. Prof. Daniel Fisher, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan who has examined the remains, says there are clear bite marks on the mammoth's lower legs and tail, and signs that the attackers clawed at their prey. They apparently broke one of its hind legs, so that it was helpless to escape them. An awful way to die.
But the plot thickens, Fisher said. There are no signs that the predators finished the mammoth off by biting down on its trunk and snout, something large carnivores with strong jaws would likely do.
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