39,000-year-old perfectly preserved bear and cub discovered in Siberia
Russian scientists discover 39,000-year-old perfectly preserved bear and cub in Siberia, preserved through tens of thousands of years of permafrost! Analysis of this cave bear continues and expected to tell us much about prehistoric bears and animal life.
Before now, bones found belonging to cave bears were the only proof of a prehistoric species or subspecies that lived in Eurasia from 300,000 to 15,000 years ago.
The two discoveries, found on separate dig sites, were recognized by a Russian expert as being of ‘world value’.
The adult cave bear’s soft tissue – The Ursus spelaeus– was conserved through tens of thousands of years in a permafrost grave.
This discovery brings hope for Russian scientists – who sort to bring back to life the dead woolly mammoth – as they are positive to find the DNA of the Ice Age predator.
Scientist Dr. Lena Grigorieva said about the animal: ‘This is the first and only find of its kind – a whole bear remains with soft tissues intact.’
Found “completely preserved, with all internal organs in place including even its nose” showing a completely intact prehistoric bear nose! Check out the side profile on this snout:
“Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This find is of great importance for the whole world.” She told The Siberian Times. Reindeer herders on the remote island unearthed these remains. They will be analyzed by scientists at Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, which is at the vanguard on the research into woolly mammoths and rhinos.
‘Foreign scientists will be invited to join the study,’ said Dr. Grigorieva, from the University’s Institute of Applied Ecology of the North.
‘It is essential to carry out a radiocarbon analysis to help determine the exact age of the bear,’ said Dr. Maxim Cheprasov, a senior researcher and candidate of biological sciences at the Mammoth Museum laboratory, Yakutsk.
At the moment, the adult bear is estimated to date from 22,000 to 39,500 years ago.
The scientists in Yakutsk – the coldest city in the world – will share more information about the cub, which was also found thawing in permafrost on the Russian mainland in Yakutia.
Over the years, there have been notable discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, and other extinct species as the permafrost thaws in Siberia.
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