Russian researchers have discovered liquid blood and urine inside the frozen carcass of a foal that died 42,000 years ago in Siberia’s Verkhoyansk region, CNN reported.
The animal’s body fluids were sampled during an autopsy , according to Semyon Grigoriev, director of the Mammoth Museum at Northeastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk.
Mammoth tusk hunters discovered the ancient foal embedded in the permafrost of the massive Batagaika crater during the summer of 2018, on a day when the temperature had plummeted to -67.8 degrees Celsius (-90 degrees Fahrenheit).
The preservation of the animal’s fur was extremely rare, Grigoriev said, revealing they may now determine the color of the wool of the extinct horses of the Pleistocene era.
The discovery of liquid blood and urine is still very rare. The Russian researcher said there had been only one other previous case where liquid blood was found in an animal from the Pleistocene epoch, which lasted from around 2.6 million years ago until about 11,700 years ago. That was in the frozen carcass of an adult mammoth discovered by Grigoriev’s team in May 2013 at Little Lyakhovsky Island off the northeast coast of Russia.
The body fluids of the extinct animal will be further tested in the hope of cloning the extinct species. “I think that even the unique preservation [of] blood is absolutely hopeless for cloning purposes since the main blood cells — the red blood cells or erythrocytes — do not have nuclei with DNA,” Grigoriev said.
The ancient horse will be exhibited across Japan from June to September 2020 as part of The Mammoth exhibition.