A well-preserved 22,000-year-old cave bear is found in Russia

Hyperaxion Sep 15, 2020

The animal, whose species went extinct 15,000 years ago, has most of its teeth still intact.

A very well-preserved cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) was found in the Lyakhovsky Islands, northern Russia, by scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk.

The first analyzes indicate that the specimen is between 22,000 and 39,500 years old.

A well-preserved 22,000-year-old cave bear is found in Russia
(Credit: NEFU RIAEN).

Cave bear

The cave bear was a prehistoric species or subspecies that lived in Eurasia during the Middle Pleistocene (from 82,000 to 355,000 years ago) and Late Pleistocene (10,000 to 82,000 years ago).

According to previous analyzes, it is estimated that the species went extinct about 15 thousand years ago.

A rare finding

The new discovery surprised scientists mainly because of its excellent state of preservation. The fossil has most of its teeth still intact.

The researchers are preparing a scientific program to analyze the remains in depth, and it will include studies involving molecular, cellular, and microbiological genetics.

(Credit: NEFU).

“This is the first and only find of its kind – a whole bear carcass with soft tissues. It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place including even its nose. Previously, only skulls and bones were found,” said Lena Grigorieva, one of the scientists.

“This find is of great importance for the whole world.”

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Cave bear


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