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Investigating Baby Mammoth
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Summary
The body of a baby wooly mammoth, found in Siberia, was transported across four time zones. The body was maintained below freezing to prevent decay or bacterial invasion, and was also sealed in a vacuum-packed plastic bag to keep its tissues hydrated. This baby wooly mammoth is the most perfectly preserved woolly mammoth ever discovered. Scientists have named her Lyuba, and she was a 1-month-old baby that walked the tundra about 40,000 years ago. Now scientists are trying to find out not only why she died, but also everything they can about wooly mammoth morphology.
Good resolution of x-ray images is more difficult on dry tissue. In order to keep the body of the baby mammoth cold while being x-rayed, it was placed in a thin wooden capsule. The goal is to create an anatomical map of the interior of the mammoth, to enable scientists where to look in the eventual autopsy, while minimizing damage to the body. The goal is to create the mammoth’s entire body in 3-d.
Keywords: baby mammoth, Lyuba, Dr. Sazuki, Siberia, ice age, wooly mammoths
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