Russian boy finds ‘mammoth of the century’
An 11-year-old Russian boy recently stumbled upon the best-preserved adult mammoth discovered in more than a century.
Zhenya Salinder discovered the frozen animal in the permafrost of northern Siberia while he was walking along the banks of the Yenisei River in late August, according to Agence France-Presse.
“He sensed an unpleasant odor and saw something sticking out of the ground – it was the mammoth’s heels,” said Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum.
Tikhonov rushed to the area after the boy’s family notified scientists of the find, described as the best such discovery since 1901.
“So far we can say it is the mammoth of the century,” Tikhonov said.
The mammoth is believed to have been aged 15 to 16 when it died around 30,000 years ago, according to Tikhonov.
It stood seven feet tall and weighed 1,100 pounds, according to the BBC.
It took scientists five days to dig out the animal, which was then transported to the northern Russian city of Dudinka.
The creature’s tusk, skin, an eye and an ear were clearly visible, Agence France-Presse reported.
In addition, the scientist told the wire service that the mammoth’s “one-meter-long penis is also intact so we can conclude that this was a male.”
For you metric-phobes scoring at home, one meter equals approximately three feet, four inches.
(Above: A photo of the adult mammoth discovered in Siberia in August. One of its tusks is visible. Photo credit: International Mammoth Committee.)