Reindeer herders have found an impeccably preserved carcass of an ice-age cave bear in Russia’s Arctic archipelago, scientists said on Monday.
The find, revealed by a melting permafrost, was discovered in the Lichowski Islands with intact teeth and even a nose. In the past, scientists have only been able to discover the bones of cave bears that disappeared 15,000 years ago.
Researchers hailed the find as innovative at Northeastern Federal University in Yakutsk, a major research center for woolly mammoths and other prehistoric species.
In a report released by the university, the researcher Lena Grigorjeva emphasized that “this is the first and only find of its kind – the whole carcass of a bear with soft tissues”.
“It is fully preserved, with all internal organs, including the nose,” – said Grigoryeva. “This finding is very important to the whole world.”
Preliminary analysis showed that the adult bear lived 22,000 to 39,500 years ago.
“To determine the exact age of the bear, it is necessary to perform a radio carbon analysis,” the university quotes researcher Maxim Cheprasov.
The carcasses of the bear were found by deer farmers on Bolshoi Lyachovsky Island. It is the largest of the Liachowski Islands, which are part of the New Siberian archipelago between the Laptev Sea and the Eastern Siberian Sea.
Separately, at least one preserved cave bear carcass has been found on the Russian mainland, Yakutia. Scientists hope to get his DNA.
Numerous mammoths, woolly rhinos, glacial foals, several puppies, and cave lion cubs have been spotted in recent years as permafrost melts in vast parts of the Siberian region of Russia.
Call all HuffPost fans!
Sign up to become a founder and help set up another HuffPost branch