MOSCOW – A wool-preserved rhinoceros from the ice age with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from the permafrost in the far north of Russia.
Russian media reported on Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by melting permafrost in Yakutia in August. Scientists expect ice roads in the North Pole region to be passable to be delivered to a laboratory next month.
It is one of the best preserved specimens of the Ice Age animal found so far. The carcass still has most of the soft tissues intact, including part of the intestines, thick hair and a lump of fat. His horn was found next door.
In recent years, great discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, ice age fowl and lion cubs have been seen in caves as the permafrost increasingly melts over large parts of Siberia due to global warming.
Yakutia 24 TV quoted Valery Plotnikov, a paleontologist from the Russian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying that the wool rhino was probably 3 or 4 years old when he died.
Plotnikov said the young rhino probably drowned.
Scientists have dated the carcass from 20,000 to 50,000 years old. More precise dating will be possible as soon as it is delivered to a laboratory for radiocarbon studies.
The carcass was found on the banks of the Tirekhtyakh River in the Abyisk district, near the area where another young woolly rhino was spotted in 2014. Researchers date this specimen, which they named Sasha, to 34,000 years old.