Ice age cave bear

Reindeer herders from the Lyakhovsky Islands, part of Russias far North, found the remains of the cave bear. It was the very first example of the species with its soft tissues, such as internal organs, intact. Previously found specimens only had the bones and fur intact. The discovery of the newly found specimen was of ¨global importance¨ according to Russian experts specialized in Ice Age fauna.

The bear could be as much as 39,500 years old.
It was the first time a specimen of the Ice Age Cave Bear had been found with the soft tissue intact. Credit: North-Eastern University of Yakutsk

Lena Grigorieva said in a statement of the university conducting the studies on the cave bear: ¨This is the first and only find of its kind, 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. This find is of great importance for the whole world.”

The specie found, the Ursus Spelaeus or cave Bear, lived in the Late Pleistocene period. It is thought to be gone extinct some 15 000 thousand years ago. The bear found has been estimated to be anywhere between 22 000 and 39 500 years old.

In recent years discoveries in the Far North of Russia have become more commonplace. As global temperatures steadily rise, the permafrost thaws and unearths more preserved remains such as rhinos, cave lions, and Mammoths.


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