Scientists at North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia, on Monday announced a finding of “great importance” — a preserved Ice Age cave bear carcass, estimated to be to be between 22,000 and 39,500 years old.
Even the bear’s nose is still intact, the university said in a statement.
The preserved bear was found by reindeer herders on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, part of the Lyakhovsky Islands archipelago in northern Russia, according to a statement from NEFU.
“Today this is the first and only find of its kind — a whole bear carcass with soft tissues,” scientist Lena Grigorieva said in a statement. “It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place including even its nose. Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This find is of great importance for the whole world.”
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Radiocarbon analysis will be conducted to determine the exact age of the bear, senior researcher Maxim Cheprasov from the Mammoth Museum laboratory in Yakutsk said in a statement.
Mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, puppies and Cave Lion cubs have been discovered as permafrost melts in Siberia, scientists from NEFU said.
“The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is a prehistoric species or subspecies that lived in Eurasia in the Middle and Late Pleistocene period and became extinct about 15,000 years ago,” the university said in a statement.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ice Age cave bear carcass found in northern Russia, university reports
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