Reindeer herders stumbled upon an intact cave bear from the Ice Age in the Russian polar region. This is the first time that a carcass containing tissue from the extinct species has been found.
Until now, only bones and skulls of cave bears have been found. According to scientist Lena Grigorieva of the Northeast Federal University in Yakutsk, the find is of world importance. All organs and even the nose are in place, she says in a statement. Researchers hope to obtain dna.
The specimen, which according to initial estimates lived between 22,000 and 39,500 years ago, was found on the Lykhovsky Islands, between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea. The prehistoric cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) died out about 15,000 years ago, according to the university.
Melting permafrost in Siberia in recent years has uncovered remains of more prehistoric species, including mammoths, woolly rhinos and cave lion cubs.