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The 42,000-year-old foal. Scientists hope the discovery of the animal’s liquid blood can help resurrect the Ice Age species.

Liquid Blood Extracted from 42,000-Year-Old Extinct Horse Sparks Cloning Hopes

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By The Siberian Times reporter

Permafrost preserved the ‘oldest blood in the world,’ boosting hopes of bringing an extinct species back to life. The blood comes from an Ice Age foal that is arguably the best preserved animal in the world from that time period.

“The Best-Preserved Ice Age Animal Ever Found…”

Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said:

“The autopsy shows beautifully preserved internal organs. Samples of liquid blood were taken from heart vessels - it was preserved in the liquid state for 42,000 years thanks to favorable burial conditions and permafrost. The muscle tissues preserved their natural reddish color. We can now claim that this is the best preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world.”

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal. Picture: North-Eastern Federal University

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal. Picture: North-Eastern Federal University

Dr. Grigoryev revealed in an interview with TASS that the foal is in an exceptional condition without any visible damage.

“This is extremely rare for paleontological finds, because some of them are either incomplete, fragmented, with serious body deformations or strongly mummified,” said the expert.

“The foal’s hair is intact on its head, legs and part of its body. Its tail and mane are black, the rest of the foal’s body is bay [sic]. Having preserved hair is another scientific sensation as all previous ancient horses were found without hair.”

The 42,000-year-old foal. Pictures: North-Eastern Federal University
The 42,000-year-old foal. Pictures: North-Eastern Federal University

The 42,000-year-old foal. Pictures: North-Eastern Federal University

How Did the Foal Die?

This is the second month of intense joint work of the Yakutian university team and scientists from South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

“Our studies showed that at the moment of death the foal was from one to two weeks old, so he was just recently born,” said the scientist.

“As in previous cases of really well-preserved remains of prehistoric animals , the cause of death was drowning in mud which froze and turned into permafrost. A lot of mud and silt which the foal gulped during the last seconds of its life were found inside its gastrointestinal tract.”

Confidence in Cloning the Ice Age Species

Scientists have already indicated  that they are 'confident of success’ in extracting cells from this foal in order to clone its species - the extinct Lenskaya breed - back to life, as previously reported by The Siberian Times.

Work is so advanced that the team is reportedly choosing a mother for the historic role of giving birth to the comeback species.

Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media, said: “Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago.”

The foal was found in the Batagai depression in Yakutia.

An attempt to restore the species to life is seen as paving the way for a similar effort to restore to life the giant woolly mammoth .

The same scientists are working on both projects.

The foal held by Semyon Grigoryev after it was found. Pictures: NEFU, The Siberian Times

The foal held by Semyon Grigoryev after it was found. Pictures: NEFU, The Siberian Times

The Foal on Exhibition

The unique foal will become one of the key exhibits of The Mammoth exhibition in Japan, starting in June this year and finishing in September 2020.

 “More than 30 exhibits from Yakutia will travel to the exhibition,” said Dr. Grigoryev.

“For the first time we’ll show the world’s only frozen woolly mammoth trunk, as well as the carcass of the Yukagir bison, an ancient partridge and the Batagai horse.”

Modern-day Yakut horses, Malolyajovskiy mammoth found in 2013. Pictures: The Siberian Times, NEFU
Modern-day Yakut horses, Malolyajovskiy mammoth found in 2013. Pictures: The Siberian Times, NEFU

Modern-day Yakut horses, Malolyajovskiy mammoth found in 2013. Pictures: The Siberian Times, NEFU

Top Image: The 42,000-year-old foal. Scientists hope the discovery of the animal’s liquid blood can help resurrect the Ice Age species. Source: North-Eastern Federal University

The article, originally titled Unique in palaeontology: Liquid blood found inside a prehistoric 42,000 year old foal ’, originally appeared on The Siberian Times and has been republished with permission.

Comments

That this little horse is so well preserved is marvelous and it should go to a museum. I don't believe in trying to bring back an extinct species. What business do we humans have in meddling in God's affairs. Not a good idea.It's all for exploitation anyhow so a group of scientists can say 'See what WE accomplished?'

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