The woolly rhinoceros of the well-preserved Ice Age with many of its internal organs was recovered from permafrost in the far north of Russia.
Russian media reported on Wednesday that the body was discovered by permafrost thawing in Yakutia in August. Scientists are waiting for the icy roads in North Pole The area becomes passable for the animal to be delivered to the laboratory for studies in January.
The corpse is among the best preserved specimens of a woolly rhinoceros found so far. Most of the soft tissues are still intact, including a portion of the intestine, some thick hair and a lump of fat. A horn is found next to it.
In recent years, as ice thaws increasingly within permafrost, across vast areas of Siberia due to global warming, there have been important finds from mammoths, woolly rhinos and cave cubs. A foal – known as Lena’s horse – was found alive 42,000 years ago in the permafrost of the Batajika Crater in Yakutia, Siberia.
Yakutia 24 TV quoted Valery Plotnikov, a paleontologist with the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, that the woolly rhinoceros was probably three or four years old when he died. Plotnikov said that the little unicorn may have drowned.
Scientists have dated the corpse from 20,000 years to 50,000 years. More accurate dating will be possible once radiocarbon studies are performed in the laboratory.
The body was found on the bank of the Terekhtiakh River, in the Abysk region, near the area where another small woolly rhinoceros was found in 2014. Researchers have dated this specimen, which they named Sasha, to the age of 34,000.