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Perfectly preserved Ice Age cave bear found in Siberia

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The perfectly preserved remains of an Ice Age cave bear have been discovered in the Russian Arctic -- the first example of the species ever to be found with soft tissues intact.

(CNN)The perfectly preserved remains of an Ice Age cave bear have been discovered in the Russian Arctic -- the first example of the species ever to be found with soft tissues intact.

Prior to this, only the bones of cave bears had been unearthed, but this specimen even had its nose intact, according to a team of scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Siberia.

The discovery is of "world importance," a leading Russian expert on extinct Ice Age species said.

In a statement released by the university, scientist Lena Grigorieva said: "Today this is the first and only find of its kind -- a whole bear carcass with soft tissues.

The adult animal was found by a group of reindeer herders, who then transferred the right to research the specimen to the NEFU, which is at the forefront of research into extinct woolly mammoths and rhinos.

According to the team, the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is a prehistoric species or sub-species that lived in Eurasia in the Middle and Late Pleistocene period and became extinct some 15,000 years ago.

Maxim Cheprasov, senior researcher from the Mammoth Museum laboratory in Yakutsk, said in the statement: "It is necessary to carry out radiocarbon analysis to determine the precise age of the bear. "

Significant discoveries, including mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, several puppies and cave lion cubs, have been made in Siberia in recent years as the permafrost melts.

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