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Extinct cave bear found WHOLE after being frozen for 30,000 years on Siberian island

AN ANCIENT bear has been discovered completely intact after being frozen for around 30,000 years.

The now extinct type of cave bear was found on a Siberian island where scientists search for the preserved remains of extinct animals in melting permafrost.

AP:Associated Press
The bear was preserved in permafrost[/caption]

Although remains of ancient creatures have been found on the Lyakhovsky Islands before, this adult cave bear discovery is said to be unprecedented.

That’s because it’s almost perfectly preserved, with its teeth, nose and internal organs all intact after tens of thousands of years.

Scientists think the bear died somewhere between 22,000 to 39,500 years ago.

Its species, Ursus spelaeus, would have roamed the Arctic during the Ice Age.

AP:Associated Press
The creature died around 30,000 years ago[/caption]

The species is thought to have gone extinct around 15,000 years ago, meaning seeing an intact carcass like this is very special because scientists usually only find skeletons.

It was first found by reindeer herders.

They then alerted the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia.

NEFU researcher Lena Grigorieva said: “This is the first and only find of its kind – a whole bear carcass with soft tissues.”

AP:Associated Press
This type of cave bear is now extinct[/caption]
An artistic impression of the bear when it was alive[/caption]

Cave bears like this would have roamed glacier covered Europe and Asia alongside creatures like sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths.

The males likely weighed around 1 ton or 2,200 pounds.

That’s around 500 pounds heavier than the largest bears that exist today.

Carbon dating will be done on the bear to try and determine a more accurate age.

What is permafrost?

Here's what you need to know...

  • Permafrost is soil that is permanently frozen
  • It’s made of soil, sand and gravel fused together by ice
  • Permafrost is widespread in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere
  • It’s found across 85 per cent of Alaska, 55 per cent of Russia and Canada, and probably all of Antarctica
  • Because it’s frozen year-round, permafrost offers our best chance of finding preserved archaeological specimens
  • Mammoths and other creatures found frozen in Siberia still have their fur, whiskers and even organs in tact
  • Frozen humans dating back thousands of years have been found still sporting tribal tattoos and wearing fur clothing

In other archaeology news, an ancient ‘wine factory’ has been unearthed in Lebanon.

A sunken ship has been found in almost perfect condition despite spending 400 years underwater.

And, Ancient Egyptian coffins sealed for thousands of years have been found down a burial shaft.

What do you make of the ancient bear discovery? Let us know in the comments…

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