Scientists have just discovered the near perfect fossilized remains of a now-extinct 40,000-year-old Paleolithic baby horse in Siberia. This remarkable discovery occurred in the Batagaika crater, in an area that has also been referred to as the Door to the Underworld.
According to Science Alert, the tiny and ancient horse is in such amazing condition that at first glance it looks almost as if it may still be sleeping. The 40,000-year-old baby horse was first discovered by excited residents in the area and was later fully excavated from the site by a team of international scientists from Russia and Japan, and then carefully transported to the Mammoth Museum.
“This is the first find in the world of a prehistoric horse of such a young age and with such an amazing level of preservation,” Semyon Grigoryev, who is the head of the laboratory at the museum, exclaimed.
Scientists have determined that the Paleolithic baby horse would have died when it was only two to three months of age, and the horse measures in at around 34 inches in length. Remarkably, its hooves, mane, tail and shiny brown coat are still completely intact, and the Siberian permafrost has helped to preserve its internal organs, leaving them in the same state they were in when the horse died.
Incredibly Preserved, 40,000-Year-Old Extinct Baby Horse Has Been Unearthed in Siberia https://t.co/g0BHJM3qSu
— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) August 24, 2018
The 40,000-year-old baby horse is very different from those that now reside in the Yakutia region of Siberia and is of a species called Equus lenensis, also referred to as a Lena horse.
Scientists are now analyzing liquid, hair, and biological fluids from the ancient horse, along with soil near where the horse was found, so that they can conduct tests to determine more about its life and its ultimate demise. As there were no wounds found anywhere on the baby horse, scientists are keen to learn how it would have died.
According to Grigory Savvinov of North-Eastern Federal University, it is very possible that the Paleolithic Siberian horse could have drowned.
“Experts that took part in the expedition came up with a version that the foal could have drowned after getting into some kind of a natural trap.”
A full autopsy is planned to either prove or disprove this theory, and analyzing the stomach contents of the 40,000-year-old baby horse will allow scientists to learn what it had consumed before its tragic death.
40,000-year-old baby horse dug out of the permafrost in Siberia forty millennia after the rest of its species went extinct https://t.co/vKj96loatV
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 24, 2018
Once scientists have completed their research on the fossilized remains of the 40,000-year-old horse recovered in Siberia, we will know much more about the life of this ancient and extinct creature.