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Unique in palaeontology: Liquid blood found inside a prehistoric 42,000 year old foal

By The Siberian Times reporter
16 April 2019

Permafrost preserved the ‘oldest blood in the world’ boosting hopes of bringing extinct species back to life.

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal. Picture: North-Eastern Federal University

Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said today: ‘The autopsy shows beautifully preserved internal organs. 

‘Samples of liquid blood were taken from heart vessels - it was preserved in the liquid state for 42,000 years thanks to favourable burial conditions and permafrost. 

‘The muscle tissues preserved their natural reddish colour. 

‘We can now claim that this is the best preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world.’ 

Dr Grigoryev revealed in an interview with TASS that the foal is in an exceptional condition without any visible damage. 

‘This is extremely rare for paleontological finds, because some of them are either incomplete, fragmented, with serious body deformations or strongly mummified,’ said the expert. 

‘The foal’s hair is intact on its head, legs and part of its body. 

‘Its tail and mane are black, the rest of the foal’s body is bay. 

‘Having preserved hair is another scientific sensation as all previous ancient horses were found without hair.’

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal

The 42,000 years old foal. Pictures: North-Eastern Federal University

This is the second month of intense joint work of the Yakutian university team and scientists from South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation.

‘Our studies showed that at the moment of death the foal was from one to two weeks old, so he was just recently born,’ said the scientist. 

‘As in previous cases of really well-preserved remains of prehistoric animals, the cause of death was drowning in mud which froze and turned into permafrost. 

‘A lot of mud and silt which the foal gulped during the last seconds of its life were found inside its gastrointestinal tract.’

Video from inside the Batagai depression where the foal was found, and the foal in the lab in Yakutsk


Scientists have already indicated  that they are 'confident of success’ in extracting cells from this foal in order to clone its species - the extinct Lenskaya breed - back to life, as previously reported by The Siberian Times.

Work is so advanced that the team is reportedly choosing a mother for the historic role of giving birth to the comeback species. 

Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media, said: “Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago.”

The foal was found in the Batagai depression in Yakutia.

An attempt to restore the species to life is seen as paving the way for a similar effort to restore to life the giant woolly mammoth.  

The same scientists are working on both projects. 

Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal

The international team of scientists working in the laboratory of North-Eastern Federal University, the foal held by Semyon Grigoryev after it was found, the Batagai depression. Pictures: NEFU, The Siberian Times


The unique foal will become one of the key exhibits of one year long The Mammoth exhibition in Japan, starting in June this year. 

‘More than 30 exhibits from Yakutia will travel to the exhibition,’ said Dr Grigoryev. 

‘For the first time we’ll show the world’s only frozen woolly mammoth trunk, as well as the carcass of the Yukagir bison, an ancient partridge and the Batagai horse.’

Blood of Maloyakhovky mammoth found in 2013. Malolyakhovskiy mammoth ready for the trasportation. Modern-day Yakut horses. Pictures: NEFU, The Siberian Times

Mammoth blood


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal


Liquid blood in Ice Age foal

Comments (39)

The biologist in me is very excited to see this filly cloned. I hope the technology might be used on other extinct species if successful.
Kim , Virginia USA
18/04/2019 05:59
4
1
This kind of makes me wonder why it is that virtually every animal found preserved in the Permafrost has been drowned in mud and flash frozen so quickly their internal organs, tissue, cell structures and blood are well preserved. And why so many have been found in their thousands in jumbled piles with broken bones and serious bodily injuries.
Roger Griffin, Oah Harbor, United States
18/04/2019 02:24
33
2
Cringe worthy to see the body picked up and carried in that manner, instead of by proper archaeological procedure.
RivkaC, Colorado, USA
18/04/2019 01:50
19
10
Perhaps they will find a Neanderthal and some ancient humans in norther russia then, there must be one somewhere, will we find it? If there was a way to scan these places using electromagnetic frequencies for things revealed in snow or somthing, it would be cool, to not miss all the rhino's and animals that may come up one day.
Antony Stewart, french terabyte citizen info storage center
18/04/2019 00:22
5
1
Congratulation Team
Wow its really amazing find by scientist..
very good oppurtunity bring back 42000 yrs horse to Live
vignesh, India
17/04/2019 19:50
11
2
and with that, the clones began to destroy human life.
someone, somewhere
17/04/2019 18:44
7
11
Wow, Just amazing! Looking forward to seeing the results.
Covey, Edmonton,Canada
17/04/2019 13:17
11
2
Wow, just awesome!!
Covey, Edmonton,AB
17/04/2019 13:14
10
0
As it seems experiment could success, new scientific revolution will be just out right there. Dr. Hwang implicated in cloning fraud in the past, but now its time to prove your were not.
Johnny, South Korea
17/04/2019 08:35
5
1

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