LIFE

40,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Bound For Australia

Lyuba is the world's only intact and preserved mammoth specimen -- and she's coming to Sydney.

24/08/2017 11:27 AM AEST | Updated 24/08/2017 11:31 AM AEST

While we're still a little while off resurrecting woolly mammoths, Sydneysiders will have the opportunity later this year to get up close and personal with one of the world's best-preserved specimens of the ancient beast.

Lyuba, a baby woolly mammoth, will make her way down under for the first time as part of the Australian Museum's 'Mammoths -- Giants of the Ice Age' exhibition.

Siu Chiu / Reuters
Lyuba was so well preserved in the Siberian permafrost that she still had her baby fat.

The one-month-old mammoth was discovered in her icy grave by a reindeer herder in Siberia close to ten years ago and has only travelled outside of Russia a handful of times.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the not-so-tiny tot still had her baby fat when discovered, and is now being kept intact by removing all moisture from the body tissues -- a technique also used by Russian scientists to preserve the remains of Lenin, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il.

PA Archive/PA Images
I hope I look this good when I'm 40,000 years old.

Fossils of mammoths have been discovered on every continent except Australia, South America and Antarctica.

About 40,000 years ago, humans began to hunt mammoths for their meat, bones and skin. While it's contentious as to whether our ancestors hunted the mammoth to extinction, their numbers began to dwindle 10,000 years ago, before then becoming extinct.

"While Australia had its own unique prehistoric megafauna, mammoths never lived here -- so this is may be the only chance for domestic audiences and visitors to see a real mammoth and lean more about these amazing giants," Australian Museum's director Kim McKay said.

Lyuba will be on display at the Australian Museum's 'Mammoths -- Giants of the Ice Age' from 18 November.

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