Fate In the end, the team was unable to determine his cause of death. (Here, one of his front legs in situ.) His molars were heavily worn, another possible indication that he was malnourished. The added stress of a severe winter may have sealed his fate. As Dutch scientist Bas van Geel and his 15 coauthors write in the 2008 paper on which this feature is based, "the start of the growing season might have come too late for this animal. Lying down in a sheltered hollow, he died, and became covered with a thick mud layer that ... subsequently froze and preserved part of him."