In A World First, An Ice Age Animal Body Has Been Found With Blood Still Inside
For the first time in history, scientists have extracted liquid blood from an ancient animal body preserved in permafrost -- a 42,000-year-old foal.
The researchers from Siberia's North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk said the foal is absolutely unique and the only animal that has ever been found so perfectly preserved.
The foal's burial conditions and permafrost preserved the ancient animal's organs so effectively that the scientists were able to extract the blood from the vessels of its heart.
The team discovered the foal in late 2018 on a research expedition -- two days before they discovered a mammoth carcass with soft tissue still attached.
Head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, Semyon Grigoryev, told the Siberian Times that the foal is the "best-preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world".
"This is extremely rare for paleontological finds, because some of them are either incomplete, fragmented, with serious body deformations or strongly mummified," Grigoryev said.
The foal belongs to an ancient and extinct horse known as the Lenskaya breed and the researchers are confident that they will be able to use the extracted blood to clone the species back to life using a modern horse mother as a surrogate.
However, the first month of research has not proved successful: the scientists have tried to culture cells from the foal 20 times with no luck yet.
The same group of scientists are currently working on the same cloning method to bring the woolly mammoth back into existence.