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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 (65)

Absolutely his can be a 2 month old foal. The deciduous hoof capsule falls off within minutes after the foal takes its first few steps. Breeds of horses 30-40,000 years ago are likely not the same HUGE ones we have today. Depending on the type of ground would depend on how much wear the foal had on it’s hoof. Softer ground means far less wear on the hoof
Christie , Canada
25/08/2018 00:51
11
1
This Discovery is profound. Profound to the fact that 40000 years ago according to Darwin, this type of horse did not exist. This discovery is The proof that shoots Darwin's theory in the foot.
RaNae, USA. UTAH
24/08/2018 23:38
23
76
Agree with other comments, this foal was less than a week old, maybe just older than newborn when it died. It had been up and walking at some point as the protective coating that grows on the hooves in the womb to protect the mare has been worn off.
Mandy, Australia
24/08/2018 23:35
21
4
You can look at bone size, joint structure, teeth formation to determine age of the foal. Three toed horses lived millions of years ago. They can determine the age of the foal through radiocarbon dating.
Dominique, Canada
24/08/2018 23:28
13
3
Not a newborn- newborn foals are born with soft soles- solid hooves are not formed yet. This foal has formed hooves. I’d say at least a few weeks.
Brittanie, IL
24/08/2018 23:08
4
6
Loved the story and can’t wait to hear more as the studies continue. Genetic testing today would make this research invaluable. Hope the scientists and scientific community can share with counterparts in the US and around the world.
Tami Villa Schwartz, Buffalo, Wyoming
24/08/2018 23:05
8
0
I would like to see the species revived if possible. At least it's not a dinosaur.
Michael Conner, Achille/Oklahoma/USA
24/08/2018 23:01
7
5
CLONE IT!
Bonnie, USA
24/08/2018 22:54
10
6
Regarding the wear on the foal's hooves; how much wear would they show if the animal were walking primarily on snow? At any rate, this is an incredible find!
Barb, UPState NY, USA
24/08/2018 22:53
6
0
西伯利亚本身就是博物馆、种质库呀!希望能克隆这个灭绝品种!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
24/08/2018 22:38
1
1
I also do not believe this foal is two months. I believe that it was either born dead or died before getting up. The hooves show no wear from walking.
Esther E Zeman, Joplin USA
24/08/2018 22:14
10
13
Prehistoric horses had 3 toes not like the hooves of today’s horses. This is not an ancient foal. Also, this foal is younger than 2 months.
Myra, Canada
24/08/2018 21:30
5
28
My guess is that foal was no more than 7 to 10 days old.
Lisa Badger, United States
24/08/2018 21:07
8
5
That looks like a newborn (or nearly new) to me - definitely younger than 2 months. Even the feet look like they don't have much wear on them. I wonder what made them come up with that age?
Erin, Davidsonville/USA
24/08/2018 21:00
9
4
Great article, what an exciting find!
Have to agree with the other comments regarding the foal's age at death though, looks far, far younger than two months to me.
Lei, Australia
24/08/2018 20:24
8
4

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