10,000-Year-Old Baby Woolly Rhino Found in Siberia

10,000-Year-Old Baby Woolly Rhino found in Siberia

Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha (via Wired)

A hunting expedition found a little woolly rhinoceros which they named Sasha intact in the permafrost of Siberia.

During the Ice Age or Pleistocene Era on earth, our human ancestors probably saw many woolly mammoths and rhinoceros. That was until a change in atmosphere and weather conditions led to the end of these fearsome creatures.

The most current prehistoric animal dug up from the depths of the Siberian permafrost is a woolly rhino named Sasha. After almost having remained for eons and eons underneath the chilly ice, this little quadruped has survived having various parts of it being eaten by predators.

It was in September of last year that two hunters that were on a trip down the river detected some woolly fibers emerging from a large frozen block along the way. They thought it was a reindeer, but upon closer inspection they found it to be a baby rhino and they extracted it from its resting place.

They kept it in cold storage for the rest of the winter months of 2014. Only now have they gathered the courage to present their find to the Sakha Republic Academy of Sciences. 

Not only is Sasha one among very few rare samples of woolly rhinos discovered, she is a calf which is further cause for surprise and wonderment among scientists. The age of the baby rhino when it lost its life was probably 18 months.

This almost intact remaining part of Sasha /4/lend scientists valuable clues as to how woolly rhinos lived in the past. While Sasha’s rear end is missing, all the front part is as if it had been dug yesterday.

Even the woolly skin is in a fresh and pristine state. The really exciting thing is that the DNA of the animal could be tested thus corroborating past evidence regarding the species. Then the present-day evolved form of this woolly rhino could be identified.

The habitat of the woolly rhino along with its eating habits not to mention what its environment was like could be guessed from the DNA sample. Later on the two hunters who had found the baby woolly rhino posed with the scientists and before them was the half-eaten body of Sasha.

The bodies of baby woolly mammoths had been discovered in the past. But a baby woolly rhino is something entirely new and will add to a more complete paleontological picture of the Ice Age as it existed so many years ago on earth.  

Source: Wired


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