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Woolly Rhino Found With Organs Intact

It's one of the best-preserved Ice Age animals ever found in Siberia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 30, 2020 2:54 PM CST

(Newser) – A well-preserved Ice Age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from permafrost in Russia's extreme north. Russian media reported Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by melting permafrost in Yakutia in August. Scientists are waiting for ice roads in the Arctic region to become passable to deliver it to a lab for studies next month. It’s among the best-preserved specimens of the Ice Age animal found to date. The carcass has most of its soft tissues still intact, including part of the intestines, thick hair, and a lump of fat, the AP reports. Its horn was found next to it. It’s among the best-preserved specimens of the Ice Age animal found to date.

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Yakutia 24 TV quoted Valery Plotnikov, a paleontologist with the regional branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as saying the woolly rhino was likely three or four years old when it died. Plotnikov said the young rhino likely drowned. Scientists dated the carcass as anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 years old. More precise dating will be possible once it is delivered to a lab for radiocarbon studies. The carcass was found on the bank of the Tirekhtyakh river in the Abyisk district, close to the area where another young woolly rhino was recovered in 2014. Researchers dated that specimen, which they called Sasha, at 34,000 years old. (Earlier this year, the permafrost yielded an Ice Age cave bear with its fur and nose intact.)

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