It belongs to the ice age. It died thousands of years ago, but the decomposition did not succeed: its organs remain almost undamaged. Scientists are surprised at the degree of conservation of the woolly rhinoceros, which was intact 20,000 years ago.
It was found by locals in eastern Siberia. The discovery was made thanks to the melting of permafrost (the permanently frozen layer of soil in very cold areas). It happened in the Yakutia region in northeastern Russia.
Experts will deliver the rhinoceros to a laboratory in Yakutsk city to learn more about the discovery. There the scientists will take samples and carry out radiocarbon analyzes. It is estimated that the rhinoceros lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago during the Pleistocene.
Valery Plotnikov is the scientist who studied the remains. He told the Russian media that the rhino was between three and four years old when it died, likely drowned. He added that much of his soft tissue was preserved. Even organs like the intestines and genitals.
“A small nasal horn was also preserved; a rarity because it decomposes fairly quickly, “said Plotnikov. The horn showed signs of use, suggesting that the rhinoceros” used it to eat, “he said.
The rhinoceros was discovered by a local resident on the banks of the Tirekhtyakh in August. It happened near the place where another woolly rhinoceros was found in 2014. The one that scientists called Sasha is believed to have lived 34,000 years ago.
In recent years, important remains of mammoths, woolly rhinos, foals and cave lion cubs have been discovered in parts of Siberia. The woolly rhinoceros, intact 20,000 years ago, contributes to these findings.
In September, researchers found the well-preserved corpse of a bear from the Ice Age. It happened on the Lyakhovsky Islands in northeastern Russia.
Such discoveries are becoming more common. They are more common when global warming melts permafrost in large areas of the far north and east of Russia.