Frozen Cave Bear Found Perfectly Preserved Thought To Be 39,000 Years Old
Scientists in Russia have found a perfectly preserved cave bear and cub, which could be as old as 39,000 years old.
The animals, which were discovered by reindeer breeders in Siberia, have been hailed as being of ‘world importance’, as only bones of these particular species had been found prior to this.
It’s thought that the permafrost allowed the adult bear’s soft tissue to be perfectly preserved throughout all these years.
This particular species of cave bear lived in Eurasia from around 300,000 to 15,000 years ago.
Speaking to The Siberian Times, scientist Dr Lena Grigorieva described the adult bear discovery as ‘the first and only of its kind,’ because it is ‘a whole bear carcass with soft tissues.’
‘It is completely preserved with all internal organs in place. Photographs show the bear’s nose intact,’ she said.
‘Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This find is of great importance around the whole world.’
Now, the carcasses will be analysed by scientists at the North Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia, who are currently leading research into extinct woolly mammoths and rhinos.
Dr Grigorieva added:
We will have to study the carcass of a bear using all modern scientific research methods – molecular genetic, cellular, microbiological and others. The research is planned to be as large-scale as in the study of the Malolyakhovsky mammoth.
Although it is too early to tell exactly how old the bears are, preliminary research suggests it could belong to the Kargin interglacial, which would put the bears between 22,000 and 39,500 years old.
Maxim Cheprasov, senior researcher, candidate of biological sciences at the Mammoth Museum laboratory, said, as per NEFU:
It is necessary to carry out radiocarbon analysis to determine the absolute age of the bear. The author of the find transferred the right to research to the scientists of NEFU, in the future a scientific program for its comprehensive study will be prepared.
In recent years, scientists have made major discoveries in terms of finding mammoths, woolly rhinos and other species which have long been extinct, as the permafrost continues to thaw in Siberia.
Researchers in Yakutsk, which happens to be the coldest city in the world, now believe they will be able to find out more details about the cub, which was found in the permafrost in mainland Russia.
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