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Russian boy discovers 'mammoth of the century'

Published on Oct 5, 2012 9:35 PM
A handout photo provided on Oct 5, 2012, by International Mammoth Committee and taken on Sept 25, 2012, shows a close view the remains of mammoth found a few kilometers away from the Sopkarga polar station in the Taimyr Peninsula, Russia’s northernmost region. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - An 11-year-old boy from Russia's north has stumbled upon a well-preserved mammoth, in what scientists describe as the best such discovery since 1901.

Mr Yevgeny Salinder, whose family lives near a polar station in the northern Taimyr Peninsula, discovered the frozen animal when he was strolling along the banks of the Yenisei River in late August.

"He sensed an unpleasant odour and saw something sticking out of the ground - it was the mammoth's heels," said Mr Alexei Tikhonov, director of the Saint Petersburg-based Zoological Museum, who rushed to the tundra after the boy's family had notified scientists of the historic find.

Mr Tikhonov said on Friday the mammoth had died aged 15-16 around 30,000 years ago, adding that its tusk, skin, an eye and an ear were clearly visible. "His one-metre-long penis is also intact so we can conclude that this was a male," he told AFP.

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