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The Siberian Times

Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 August 2018

Scientists presented unique discovery made inside the Batagai crater in Yakutia.

The foal that came in from the cold. Picture: Michil Yakovlev/SVFU

Researchers of Yakutian North-Eastern Federal University said that permafrost of the Batagai depression kept the foal in superb condition. 

‘The foal has no damage to its carcass, even its hair preserved which is incredibly rare for such ancient finds. 

‘The foal is approximately two months old; it is 98cm high at the shoulder.

‘I want to stress that this is the foal of a type of horse that populated Yakutia between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago’, said head of Yakutia Mammoth museum Semyon Grigoryev. 

‘This was called the Lenskaya, or Lena Horse (Equus lenensis), genetically different from those living in Yakutia now.’ 

Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time
The foal was about two months old when it died between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago. Pictures: Michil Yakovlev/SVFU


Experts took samples of hair, liquids, biological fluid and covering soil for a range of tests. 

‘We’ll study content of its bowel to understand the foal’s diet. The autopsy will be carried later’, said Grigoryev. 

Deputy Head of the North-Eastern Federal University Grigory Savvinov said the foal must have fallen into a natural trap. 

‘Experts that took part in the expedition came up with a version that the foal could have drowned after getting into some kind of a natural trap. 

‘The foal lived approximately 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, but we are to carry a whole complex of studies on it’, Savvinov said. 

Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time
The Batagai crater, an artistic impression of the Pleistocene era fauna with Lenskaya horses in the middle, and a reconstruction of a Lenksaya Horse by V.N. Lyakhov 


An international Russian-Japanese team of the paleontological expedition worked inside the Batagai depression and in Yunyugen area of Verkhoyansky district of Yakutia from 9-14 August. 

They reported the discovery of the foal on 11 August, and on 13 August they announced a woolly mammoth skeleton with some tissues had been found. 

Semyon Grigoryev along with other scienitst of the North-Eastern Federal University presenting their unique find; below pictures of a modern-day Yakutian horse. Pictures: Michil Yakovlev/SVFU, The Siberian Times

Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time


Perfectly-preserved ancient foal is shown to the world for the first time

Comments (62)

I also worried about ancient immune system. Possibly the clone's in-vitro 'feeding' and then nursing a modern horse will help.
Kru Satyr, Texas State Of Mind
08/09/2018 04:24
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I love how everybody all of a sudden becomes experts!!! Ridiculous!!!
Brandi j, United States
07/09/2018 01:40
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When did the "Chersky Horse" (Equus lenensis, Rusanov, 1968; Ukraintseva, 2013) become known as the "Lena Horse"? The type specimen was found quite a ways east of the Lena River, near the Selerikan gold mine, on the upper Indigirka River.
Jamie de la Rosa, United States
30/08/2018 01:34
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What a find! So perfect & beautiful! 40,000 yrs ago doesn't seem that long ago, in the story of the history of the horse. This looks like a modern horse. A very young foal, only days old, if not newborn. I hope there are horse experts that are involved in studying this foal, because only they will be able to determine this foal's approximate age. I would love to see it cleaned off to see its color. I am looking forward to reading about everything they find out about this foal.
Diane Yates, Darlington, Wisconsin, USA
29/08/2018 10:36
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Sue from Ohio: The Eocene period - the era of Eohippus - is 56 to 33 MILLION years ago, so, of course, this foal from "only" 30-40,000 years ago looks "modern." This discovery says nothing to dispute the general evolution of horses. I didn't have time to completely research it, but my recollection is that the modern horse dates to the Pleistocene era which was 2.5 million to 11,700 years ago (which would cover the time period for this foal)
Sandy M, San Francisco, CA
29/08/2018 01:46
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Poor little baby. Looks a sleeping angel.
Silver Fang, Detroit, USA
28/08/2018 19:45
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The picture in Siberia and northern Europe is no different. The cause of these extinctions must be common to both hemispheres. If the coming of glacial conditions was gradual, it would not have cause the extinctions, because the various animals could have simply migrated to where conditions were better. What is seen here is total surprise and uncontrolled violence.Trees and animals, layers of peat and mosses, twisted and mangled together like some giant mixer had jumbled them some 10,000 years ago, and then froze them into a solid mass. The evidence immediately suggests an enormous tidal wave which raged over the land, tumbling animals and vegetation within its mass, which was then quick-frozen. But the extinction is not limited to the Arctic
Elsar Orkan, Jerusalem, Israel
28/08/2018 12:51
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The find is beyond anything I can imagine. The body looks like a colt, but hooves look like an older animal.
sharon , Vancouver, USA
27/08/2018 23:48
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Those staying this is a newborn, take another look at the hooves. This is not a newborn foal. Also, consider the size of this breed of horse when it was born, very tiny, and about the size of a Welch Pony when full grown. If this goal fell into a trap, it might have taken moments, or days to de. Let these people do their jobs and stop second guessing them.
Sharon Robinson, USA
27/08/2018 06:05
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Realmente muito interessante!
Victor Lima, Teresina/Brasil
27/08/2018 04:16
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An incredible find... thank you for sharing with the world. I hope to read more about the autopsy findings on this little one. Ignore all the comments of those who are not there.... you are doing a wonderful job. Thank You !!!!
Lora , Tulsa, Oklahoma U.S.A
26/08/2018 20:45
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If this foal is from 40000 years ago, then does that mean the time line of the evolution of the horse, eohippus, of that long ago, is an untrue statement? Because this foal looks more like the modern day foal. Just saying......
Sue, Ohio USA
26/08/2018 18:33
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All these people saying this is a newborn foal because of how little it looks. Have any of you experts considered the fact that in order for it to be preserved in cold, all its liquids were frozen/evaporated = the body shrunk significantly.
Vallennes, Canada
26/08/2018 14:45
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The gangalia would have fallen off the day it was born...thats not even a issue.
Looks to me it was asleep and died...I am curious if they find water in the lungs. My guess is its between 2 days to a 4 weeks of age. What a exciting find, poor thing. Nature can be rough.
Kim, Oklahoma
26/08/2018 12:40
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The positions of the foal’s head and legs suggests that this foal was stillborn and never took a breath or a step.
James Doherty, Copake,NY USA
26/08/2018 10:58
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4

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