Ice Age woolly rhino found in Siberia

Credit: The Siberian Times

The uniquely preserved teenage wholly rhino with even its brain intact, found in the north-east of Yakutia last summer has been defrosted for the first time since it died at least 20,000 years ago. 

The juvenile rhino with thick hazel-coloured hair, a horn and one upper premolar was found in the middle of August in permafrost deposits by river Tirekhtyakh in the Abyisky ulus (district) of Arctic Yakutia.

 ‘The adolescent woolly rhino's body is approximately 236 centimetres long, which is around one metre less than an adult animal.

'The height at the withers is around 130 centimetres, which is from 20 to 25 centimetres lower than an adult rhino’, Dr Gennady Boeskorov from Yakutia Academy of Sciences told The Siberian Times.

The level of the rhino’s preservation is unique with all of its right side kept intact by permafrost, and even under-skin fat found in the form of powder.

Eighty per cent of the rhino’s carcass is intact which makes the find the best-preserved woolly rhino ; its gender is yet to be defined. 

It could have died from drowning in either a river or a bog after being chased by predators, said researchers of Yakutia Academy of Scientists, as there is a hint of teeth marks on its skin, but the exact cause of death is yet to be established. 

There was no adolescent wholly rhino ever discovered in the world. 

Source: The Siberian Times

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