Baby mammoth Lyuba wakes scientific love

Babymammoth_01 A baby mammoth that died about 40,000 years ago is exciting scientists and lay people alike.

The preserved body of Lyuba, a variant on the old Russian word for "love," will be featured on NatGeo's special "Waking the Baby Mammoth" on Sunday, April. 26.

By analyzing her body, scientists can learn more about the mysteries of the Ice Age, why certain species disappeared then and what it might mean to our changing climate. Looking at her DNA might also uncover the mystery of how Lyuba -- only about a month or so old -- died, especially since it appears she was in perfect health.

Check out this video of the reindeer herding family discovering Lyuba in 2007:



The scientists have to be careful when extracting samples from Lyuba's body:



Finally, scientists must use the knowledge they gather and their imaginations to figure out how Lyuba died. In this CG-animated piece, we can see Lyuba and the older mammoths walking around the Siberian steppes:



Lyuba's apparent youth and mysterious death have captured the world's imagination and sympathy, but it's possible that she reminds us of another lovable, furry pachyderm -- Mr. Snuffleupagus from "Sesame Street."

Snuffleupagus

What do you think? Will you watch?

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