Lyuba the 42,000-Year-Old Baby Mammoth Arrives at the Natural History Museum in London

An almost perfectly preserved 42,000-year-old baby mammoth has arrived in London and will go on show at the Natural History Museum.

Lyuba, the world's most complete mammoth, is seen before going on public display at Natural History MuseumGetty

Lyuba, the most complete woolly mammoth ever found, arrived at the museum in a packing case. The museum's mammoth expert Professor Adrian Lister said nothing could have prepared him for the "incredible experience" of seeing Lyuba in the flesh. As the lid of the case was opened, Prof Lister exclaimed: "She's beautiful."

"It was an emotional experience to be face-to-face with a baby mammoth from the Ice Age," he said. "I'm so thrilled that our visitors will be able to experience that, too."

Galina Karzanova from the Shemanovsky Museum in Russia unveils the mammoth in her packing caseGetty
Lyuba the mammoth is examined by research leader Adrian Lister upon arriving at the Natural History MuseumGetty

Lyuba, named after the wife of the reindeer herder who found her in Siberia in 2007, is on loan from the Shemanovsky Museum in the Arctic Circle. Yuri Khudi discovered the baby mammoth with his son while they were searching for wood on the banks of the frozen Yuribei River.

She is the size of a large dog (85cm tall and 130cm long) and was probably only one month old when she died. Her body is so well preserved because she was buried in wet clay and mud and then froze. Remnants of her mother's milk is still in her stomach.

An autopsy revealed Lyuba had clay in her trunk, leading scientists to believe she suffocated while getting water.

Mammoths: Ice Age Giants opens at the Natural History Museum on 23rd May and runs until 7 September 2014.

The baby mammoth's eyeGetty
Adrian Lister examines Lyuba, pointing out the small milk tusks that are barely visibleGetty
The hair that would have covered the woolly mammoth has worn away, leaving just a few tufts on her wrinkled, leathery skinGetty
An international team of scientists are seen performing an autopsy and DNA analysis on Lyuba in 2009. The baby woolly mammoth spent 40,000 years frozen in the Siberian permafrost where her body was so perfectly preserved traces of her mother's milk remained in her bellyAFP

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