In the Russian Arctic, reindeer herders stumbled upon a shocking discovery, a perfectly preserved Ice Age cave bear. This bear is the first of its kind with soft tissue intact.
Scientists believe the corpse is anywhere from 22,000 to 39,500 years old.
Prior to this discovery, the only known existence of cave bears was through their bones. This specific individual even has its nose still intact, says a team of scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Siberia.
A Russian expert on extinct Ice Age animals said that this find is of “world importance”.
A scientist at the university, Lena Grigorieva, said in a statement, “Today this is the first and only find of its kind, a whole bear carcass with soft tissues. 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.”
Once found by the reindeer herders, the rights to research the creature were transferred to the university, which is leading research on extinct wooly mammoths and rhinos. The scientists have not made it to the site of discovery yet, due to its remote location. The cave where the bear died is more than 5,000 miles from Moscow.
Prehistoric Cave Bear
According to the scientists, the prehistoric species lived in Eurasia in the Middle to Late Pleistocene period. The bear didn’t go extinct until 15,000 years ago.
Maxim Cheprasov, the senior researcher at the Mammoth Museum laboratory in Yakutsk, Siberia, said in a statement, “It is necessary to carry out radiocarbon analysis to determine the precise age of the bear.”
As permafrost melts in Siberia, discoveries continue. Some of the more significant ones being, puppies, cave lion cubs, wooly mammoths, and wooly rhinos.