Russian, UAE specialists examine body of 3,500-year-old bear, found in Siberian permafrost
Scientists in Yakutia performed an autopsy on the remains of a brown bear with a geological age of 3,460 years. This is the first such examination of a bear’s body with intact soft tissue.
“This is the first fossil bear with residual soft tissue. Earlier, all fossilized bear remains consisted of nothing but skulls and some bones,” said Maksim Cheprasov, the head of the laboratory at the Mammoth Museum of Northeastern Federal University.
On February 21-22, leading Russian scientists and those from the Biotechnology Research Center in the United Arab Emirates performed the autopsy during an international scientific seminar at the university.
According to Cheprasov, it was the first time specialists had been able to work with such a find. Today, researchers are collecting samples for subsequent histology, cellular, microbiological and virology research. They will also conduct anatomic and morphological research, and they will extract the bear’s brain and marrow. The autopsy will allow scientists to discover what the animal ate and how it perished.
The bear’s remains were found by reindeer breeders on Bolshoi Lyakhovsky Island, part of the New Siberian Islands archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, not far from Yakutia, in September 2020.