A frozen puppy from 12 400 years ago has been found still intact.
Scientists “thawed” an extinct species of dog – which is thought to have been frozen in Siberian permafrost ice for 12,400 years.The frozen puppy still has his own teeth, and the brain is also thought to be intact.
Experts are examining whether the young animal was a “pet.”
Controversial South Korean cloning guru Hwang Woo-suk, who was present at a remarkable autopsy of the extinct Pleistocene canid, has taken samples in an attempt to bring the extinct species back to life.
A video shows how mud and dirt from thousands of years was washed off the frozen puppy ahead of the post mortem on the animal in Yakutsk in Russia, where the mummified remains were found on a steep bank of River Syalakh.
According to The Siberian Times, the puppy was found to be well preserved, including the brain.
“The carcass is preserved really very well,” Russian expert Dr Pavel Nikolsky, research fellow of the Geological Institute, Moscow, said. “And one of the most important things is that the brain is preserved.The degree of preservation is about 70 to 80 per cent. We will be able to say more precisely after it is extracted.”
The researcher said the puppy’s brain can be seen on MRI scans.
“Of course, it has dried out somewhat, but the both parencephalon, cerebellum and pituitary gland are visible,” he said. “We can say that this is the first time we have obtained the brain of a Pleistocene canid.”
A suspected sibling of the newfound frozen puppy was pulled from the same location near the village of Tumat in 2011.
“This puppy is better preserved than the previous one, so we hope to get more new information,” Sergey Fedorov, research fellow from Russia’s North-Eastern Federal University, said.
Cloning specialist Professor Hwang Woo-suksaid he was “satisfied with the degree of preservation. He was very excited,” according Fedorov. “He took the samples from the skin, muscles and ear cartilage.”
Professor Woo-suk is also working on bringing the extinct woolly mammoth back to life.
“We took the samples of the ground which surrounded the carcass to find out the bacteria there,” DrArtemiyGoncharov, head of the research laboratory of the Department of Epidemiology, Parasitology and Desinfectology at the North-Western State Medical University in St Petersburg, said. “Later we will compare them with the bacteria from the puppy’s intestines. We hope to find ancient bacteria among them.”
Examination of the earlier puppy found at the site suggests it was a dog rather than a wolf. Likely human remains were also found at the site. This implies that the puppies were pets or would-be working dogs of early man.
Research on “parasites – ticks, fleas” on the prehistoric dog is also underway.