Early Humans Found Unique Way to Get Woolly Mammoth
Fossil suggests they stole prey from lions, say scientists
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2012 2:42 PM CDT
A stock image of a woolly mammoth.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Prehistoric humans may have sliced up woolly mammoths for dinner after stealing them from lions. Markings on a mammoth fossil show evidence of both human and lion involvement, reports the BBC. Researchers examined an "exquisitely preserved" carcass of a young woolly mammoth that still has its teeth, tusks, and strawberry blonde hair. The ancient animal, nicknamed Yuka, was frozen in a Siberian ice cliff for about 10,000 years.

Deep cuts on the body indicate a lion attack near the time of death, while a number of serrations, possibly inflicted by a saw-like tool, point to the involvement of humans. "If it happened near the time of death then it means Yuka is a very important specimen as there are not many [mammoths] that show human interactions," says one of the scientists.