Remains of Ice Age Cave Bear Found Perfectly Preserved in Russia

The remains of the first-ever perfectly-preserved grown cave bear have been found in the Lyakhovsky Islands near Russia. Although scientists have discovered remains of this prehistoric animal many times in the past too, it is the first instance where they have found an intact carcass. According to the North-Eastern Federal University of Yakutsk, the prehistoric bear carcass was found by reindeer herders.

The Lyakhovsky Islands are part of the New Siberian Islands’ archipelago in Russia’s Far North. Many prominent prehistoric discoveries have been made on these landmasses, including the rather recent discovery of a woolly mammoth carcass.

Remains of Ice Age Cave Bear Found Perfectly Preserved in Russia

Image: North-Eastern Federal University

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. The preliminary analysis suggests that the cave bear is between 22,000 and 39,500 years old. To determine the exact age of the bear, scientists will use the radiocarbon dating technique.

Lena Grigorieva, one of the scientists who examined the discovered remains, said the carcass was intact and still contained all of its soft tissues, including its nose and all of its internal organs were in place. This discovery has become very significant for the global science community, giving an extraordinary insight into the life of these prehistoric bears.

Remains of Ice Age Cave Bear Found Perfectly Preserved in Russia

The head of the bear showing its full jaw and teeth still preserved | Image: AP

Scientists at the university will be studying and analyzing the remains; the institution had already spent a substantial amount of time researching woolly mammoths and extinct rhinos. Fellow researchers from mainland Russia and other countries will be invited to join in on the study as well.

As the permafrost melts across massive areas in Russia’s region of Siberia, there have been various significant discoveries in recent years including of mammoths, woolly rhinos, Ice Age foal, several puppies and Cave Lion cubs.

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