‘Best-Preserved’ Ice Age Woolly Rhino Found in Siberia
Experts have unearthed a remarkable addition to Ice Age artefacts - an ancient ancestor to the modern-day rhino.
Russian state media reported how the holly rhino was revealed by melting permafrost in Siberia’s Yakutia province in August last year.
Dinosaur researchers are now waiting for ice roads in the Arctic region to become passable so it can be delivered to a laboratory for more extensive studies.
The find is thought to be among the best-preserved specimens of the Ice Age animal ever discovered.
The carcass has most of its soft tissues still intact, including part of the intestines, thick hair and fatty lumps, while the animal’s horn was found close nearby.
Major discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, and even cave lion cubs have been made in recent years.
This is because the permafrost is vanishing at accelerating rates across vast areas of Siberia due to man-made climate change.
Yakutia 24 TV quoted Valery Plotnikov, a paleontologist with the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as suggesting the woolly rhino was probably three or four years-old when it died.
Dr Plotnikov added the young rhino very possibly died after drowning.
She said in a statement: ”A small nasal horn has also been preserved - this is a rarity, since it decomposes rather quickly.
The marks of wearing on the horns indicates the wooly rhino was actively using it to find food.
The animal likely lived during the late Pleistocene era, which ended 11,700 years ago, dinosaur experts at the Russian Academy of Sciences added.
The extinct species roamed the diamond-producing region of Yakutia between 20,000 to 50,000 years ago.