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

By 0 and 0 and 0
16 April 2019


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 (42)

Do we have an update on how cloning attempts are going? Is there a website or Facebook account specifically for the ongoing research on the foal? Has its DNA been karyotyped yet? I know its line of equids is extinct, but I would be curious to know if any of its DNA shows up in modern horses. I'm a horse owner and am fascinated by this. I really hope they succeed. Modern horses are cloned regularly, so if the Siberian colt can't be cloned, I would be interested to know those reasons; material too decayed? Or too incompatible with the modern surrogate's enucleated egg? Please let us know how it's going!
Cheri Smith, United States
28/08/2020 12:25
Amazing!! Great project!

I wish we could get the leaders of the world to see this as a unique time-critical scientific event that needs to be used as an opportunity to get genetic information and climate information and general information while we can get this material before it rots

We need more funding and expedited efforts

Thank you for sharing
Carolyn Rose Goyda , Missouri, USA
07/12/2019 07:35
@Eric This foal drowned, it didn't die of any viral or other disease, it says so in the article. And even if it did, why would you think that the virus was still alive 42,000 years later?
Gabriel Rosa, Arganil, Portugal
29/06/2019 22:25
By 2034 AD there may well be a CLONING ZOO in SOUTH KOREA.. people would fly from the world over for the chance to see a REAL LIVE resurrected animal from prehistory.. the further back the more exciting the prospect.
And entrance fees would help refurbish costs and up-keep. Who wouldn't be amazed to see such a creature with their own eyes?!
Ita Morgan, Pontarddulais/Wales
28/04/2019 21:22
By 2034 AD we may well be able to visit a CLONING ZOO in SOUTH KOREA.. squillions of people would be THRILLED TO DEATH ( LOL ) to see a REAL LIVE animal RESURRECTED by cloning.. and the ENTRANCE FEE would help REFURBISH COSTS.
Lucia Morgan, Swansea/Wales
28/04/2019 21:16
@Anon Poster This foal was found in 2018.So same site, different foal
Alexander, Novosibirsk
23/04/2019 00:38
How did we go from 4,400 years old to 42,000? This site mentions a foal discovered at this location back in 2009 (perhaps it's a different foal but if not, I'm curious as to which date is correct and why):

"In 2009 the carcass of an Holocene era foal - some 4,400 years old - was discovered ... "
Anon Poster, Anon town, USA
23/04/2019 00:32
To George, USA - Why don't you definitively prove that God doesn't exist? You can't.
22/04/2019 17:49
Amazing find! The curiosity of science, grounded in empirical data, has come a long way...despite the profound fear of those blinded by religiosity.
Karen Cann, Petaluma USA
22/04/2019 08:21
I appreciate the enthusiasm of all the young earth apologists commenting here on this amazing discovery of an ancient foal, but please recognize while you might think your interpretation is the preferred one, the bible does NOT specify an age of the earth, and does NOT REQUIRE belief in a 6000 year old earth for people to believe in God or the reliability of the bible. You think you are helping, but you drive far more people away than you realize. You are putting up unnecessary barriers and your insistence of what the bible "says" causes millions of people to reject it entirely. Day-age is a valid interpretation of the text, as is gap theory and others. I'll be perfectly happy to find out I was wrong someday, but in the meantime, don't pretend there is only one view of scripture around creation.
J, Denver, CO
18/04/2019 22:47
I believe what happened in the Scriptures concerning the creation of mankind, the great fall from His grace, the Flood with the preservation of Noah and his family, the receding of the waters and the continuation of mankind via Noah and his family to this day. What is being discovered is the affirmation of God's Word.
Jon C. Randall, Camden, AR USA
18/04/2019 22:06
J. Connor, there was FOSSILIZED soft tissue found, not dino chops ready for grilling ... unless you believe in Fred Flintsone, of course. Are you claiming God gave us the ability to understand everything from carbon dating and DNA drift to calculating the speed of light - and we got it all wrong? By that "reasoning", God is just some kind of cosmic practical joker who only wanted to fool us.

Frankly, if I were an omnipotent Supreme Being I'd be far more willing to use my talents to create an immense universe with an immense age so I could create all sorts of wonders than I would be to make a little rocky planet hiccup into existence with only 6000 years to show for it.

Besides, that magic 6000 year number isn't in the Bible; it was invented by Bishop Ussher, which makes it the work of (a) man, not something from God.
Rimsky N. Korsakov, USA
18/04/2019 21:58
Intelligent people all over the world are realizing that the pseudoscience that is Darwinism, along with the "geologic column" and radiometric dating which is used to support a millions of years old earth is falling like a house of cards. The only supporters left are the academicians who worship the earth via abiogenesis and neo Darwinism. Those whose attempts to explain the Creation by the Creation have utterly failed every scientific claim from the age of the earth to dinosaurs extinction. Look up soft tissue found in dinosaur bones and study it. The Bible is TRUTH. There was a great flood that covered the earth completely and resulted in the new landscape of the earth including the mountains which formed as a result of the flood.
jimd, usa
18/04/2019 21:41
Soft tissue found in dinosaur bones supports young earth! Along with documentation from ancient writings, ancient artwork including pottery found in Peru portraying man living with dinosaurs!

Oh, and then there are those pesky human footprints found along dinosaur tracks!
J. Connor, LA
18/04/2019 21:18
This animal became extinct in the natural progression of life on earth, long before the complex, industrialized world emerged. Reviving it, woolly mammoths, mastodons, ancient bison, etc. may have consequences scientists cannot prognosticate. Are we going to keep them in cages or release them to the natural world? Where? Will they reproduce in large numbers? Will their introduction as an alien species encroach on land, water, extant wildlife, humans, etc.? Will they bring new germs into the world? Just because science can do it, should we?
Nick, CT, USA
18/04/2019 21:07

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