On the BBC and U-M Gateway: Woolly mammoth carcass may have been cut into by humans
Monday, April 09, 2012
Professor Dan Fisher is one of the researchers studying the mammoth, dubbed Yuka, that suggests that ancient humans "stole" mammoths from hunting lions, scientists say.
The well-preserved juvenile mammoth was found in a frozen ice cliff in Siberia "exquisitely preserved." Wounds indicate that both lions and humans may have been involved in the ancient animal's death.
"Already there is dramatic evidence of a life-and-death struggle between Yuka and some top predator, probably a lion," says leading mammoth expert, University of Michigan Professor Daniel Fisher. "Even more interesting, there are hints that humans may have taken over the kill at an early stage."
If further investigation at the Sakha Academy of Sciences in Yakutsk, Russia, confirms this analysis, it will be the first carcass to show signs of interaction with ancient humans found in this part of the world.
The Yuka mammoth was filmed as part of the BBC/Discovery Co-Production program Woolly Mammoth: Secrets from the Ice.
Fisher said the find was extraordinary: "It's like a diary or journal someone has just handed you - you just haven't had a chance to read it."
"Did we know lions hunted mammoths? Well, we guessed they did. But could we ever have expected to see such graphic evidence? No - but here it is," said Fisher.
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