3,500-Year-Old Bear Found in Siberian Permafrost Dissected (Video)
A unique discovery was made in early 2023, that has no known precedents worldwide: the fully preserved carcass of a 3,460-year-old brown bear, found in the Siberian permafrost. Before this, only bones or skull fragments of such an ancient bear had been discovered, making this find particularly notable. For the first time, scientists have the opportunity to examine the soft tissues of a prehistoric bear, enabling them to study internal organs and even extract brain tissue. This provides an unprecedented window into the bear's biology and, importantly, the time when the animal died, along with potential causes of death.
Further investigations include morphological descriptions and comparisons with modern animals, histological (tissue-based) studies, and cellular research. The scientists are also carrying out investigations for viruses and microbiota, potentially providing insights into the epidemiology of the bear's time. This exceptional find, offering a comprehensive view of an ancient creature's anatomy, is a significant leap in our understanding of prehistoric animal life and the environmental conditions they endured thousands of years ago.
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Top image: The prehistoric Siberian bear. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Reuters.