Many frozen carcasses have been unearthed. Some have names. These animals attest the possibility of similar finds in the High Sierras.
For centuries, stories have been told
of subterranean elephant-like animals called 'ice rats' that use
their huge tusks to dig through the tundra of northeastern Siberia. They
are never seen alive above ground but their movements underground are detected
as earthquakes, and their fresh carcasses are occasionally discovered.
Dr. Leopold von Schrenck, Chief of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Petrograd, published the following account in 1869: "a gigantic beast which lives in the depths of the earth, where it digs for itself dark pathways, and feeds on earth . . . They account for its corpse being found so fresh and well preserved on the ground that the animal is still a living one."
The 'ice rats' are now better known as woolly mammoths.
The 1901 excavation of the "Berezovka mammoth" is the best documented of the early finds. It was discovered by the Berezovka River, and the Russian authorities financed its excavation. Its head was exposed, and the flesh had been scavenged. The animal still had grass between its teeth and on the tongue, showing that it had died suddenly. The entire expedition took 10 months, and the specimen had to be cut to pieces before it could be transported to St. Petersburg. It was identified as a 35–40 year old male, which had died 35,000 years ago. One of its shoulder
Luba, the frozen baby mammoth made a sensation in May of 2007 when a completely intact carcass was
exhumed on the Yuribei River in Yamal Peninsula of Russia. Before Luba many partial carcasses had been discovered as old or older in the frozen Tundra of Siberia. Luba was 37,000 years old.
This baby mammoth is the first 'strawberry blonde' mammoth ever discovered.
Yuka is thought to be about two and a half years old
Ginger Yuka is around 10,000 years old and is pictured here.While many bones have been found before – so we have an idea of how the legendary creatures looked when they roamed the icy plains – this is unique in being an almost entire frozen carcass
Prehistoric footprint: Its pads are in perfect condition
Another mammoth on display at the St Petersburg Zoological Museum.
This young mammoth has much of its hair intact but it is missing its trunk
Dima - The 70's Mammoth (1977)
In 1977 workers digging up ground close to the Russian town of Magadan in north eastern Siberia uncovered a well-preserved carcass of a 6 month old baby mammoth. It was the first mammoth to be investigated using modern scientific methods. Radiocarbon dating determined that it had died about 40,000 years ago and it's internal organs were found to be similar to those of living elephants. Sediment in Dima's lungs pointed to death by asphyxiation.