Yuka (Mammoth Calf)
Animal Mummy
Biographical Information
Clas Unknown
Species Unknown
Age 3
Sex unknown
Length Unknown
Culture Unknown
Date(s) 35,000
Site Siberia
Current Location
Location Russia
Catalog #
In August 2010, the mummified carcass of a woolly mammoth was discovered in permafrost on the Laptev Sea coast near Yukagir, Russia. The animal, nicknamed "Yuka" and was between 3 to 6 years old when it died, its eyes, foot pads and internal organs were all intact.


Researcher Semyon Grigoriev theorized "We suppose that the mammoth fell into water or got bogged down in a swamp, could not free herself and died. Due to this fact the lower part of the body, including the lower jaw and tongue tissue, was preserved very well. The upper torso and two legs, which were in the soil, were gnawed by prehistoric and modern predators and almost did not survive."


The mummy had an unusually well-preserved brain. It is the first, and, so far the only case of a preserved mammoth brain.

A fragment of Yuka's rib yielded a radiocarbon date of 34,300+/-

Researchers examined the animal's brain using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Thanks to the scanning technology, the investigators were able to study the well-preserved cerebellum, located at the back of the brain, and even see the white and gray matter of the cerebrum. Theyfound that the brain's structure was similar to that in modern-day elephants.


It had a broken leg and other injuries which suggest violent life-and-death struggle between it and some top predator.


There are possible hints that humans may have taken over the kill at some point.


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