“Perfect” fossil foal, 30-40 kya, found in Siberian permafrost
|August 28, 2018||Posted by News under Evolution, Genetics, Genomics, Intelligent Design|
There were no external injuries.
The fossil — discovered in the region of Yakutia — has its skin, hair, hooves and tail preserved. Yakutia is also famous for having found woolly mammoth fossils in the permafrost.
Scientists from Russia’s Northeast Federal University, who presented the discovery Thursday, said the foal is estimated to be 30,000 to 40,000 years old. They believe it was about two months old when it died.[name], “Ancient horse found perfectly preserved in permafrost” at CBC News, via Associated Press
Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in the regional capital of Yakutsk, was surprised to see the perfect state of the find. He noted it’s the best-preserved ancient foal found to date. More.
Soil recovered from around the carcass will be helpful in determining some aspects of its lifestyle.
Take for example, a mule. The horse has 64 chromosomes, the donkey 62, and the hybrid mule has 63. Mules are usually sterile, but every once in a great while a mule gets pregnant. Are horses and donkeys two species? Are hybrids a new species? Could pregnant mules start a new species? After all, even if only 5 mules were fertile in the past 200 years, think of what might happen in 5 million years.
Just to make it more interesting, the wild horses of Europe, thought to be the predecessors of the domesticated horse, had 66 chromosomes. Did domestication make new species? More.
Keep digging. There is a lot of past out there.
See also: Worms survive Siberian permafrost for 42,000 years