An exceptionally preserved carcass of an ancient woolly rhinoceros, discovered by scientists in the thawing of the Siberian permafrost in the Yakutian Desert, was delivered to the Siberian city of Yakutsk (northeast), where scientists can begin detailed studies.
Russian scientists presented the remains of the adolescent woolly rhinoceros to the media that died about 20,000 years ago with 80% of its organic material still intact, including hair, teeth, horns and even fat, according to the Siberian Times.
“The adolescent woolly rhinoceros is about 236 centimeters, which is about a meter shorter than an adult animal,” Dr. Gennady Boeskorov of the Yakutia Academy of Sciences told the newspaper.
The animal is 130 centimeters tall and is around 25 centimeters shorter than a fully grown adult.
The discovery took place last August when the Siberian permafrost melted in the Yakutian Desert
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But the delivery was only made in late January, because we had to wait for the road to freeze, which allowed drivers to traverse difficult terrain.
Scientists believe the adolescent rhino was trapped in a swamp while fleeing human hunters, but the exact cause of death has yet to be established.
This is the second woolly rhinoceros discovered in the Sakha Republic, but the first in this age group and conservation level.
This gives scientists the opportunity to study how the rhinoceros grew and developed, shedding light on the organisms.
With permafrost increasingly melting in the Siberian tundra, these kinds of discoveries are becoming more frequent, but experts have expressed concern about the possible reappearance of ancient bacteria or viruses frozen for millennia.