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“Perfect” fossil foal, 30-40 kya, found in Siberian permafrost

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 From Phys.org: 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 Read More ›

Worms survive Siberian permafrost for 42,000 years

Yesterday, we talked about the worm that survived the space shuttle blowup and the water bears in space, in relation to the question of whether early life forms night have ended up on the moon briefly, back when the solar system was rather soupy. And now we hear this: In Siberia, melting permafrost is releasing nematodes — microscopic worms that live in soil — that have been suspended in a deep freeze since the Pleistocene. Despite being frozen for tens of thousands of years, two species of these worms were successfully revived, scientists recently reported in a new study. … Though nematodes are tiny — typically measuring about 1 millimeter in length — they are known to possess impressive abilities. Read More ›