A Siberian tribe has unearthed a 9,000 year-old bison mummified in the frigid tundra of this north Asian region, offering strong evidence to better understand the extinction of the species.
The Yukagir tribe who lived in northern Siberia became the first group to report the discovery of a steppe bison that was found buried in the ground in mummified and frigid condition.
Steppe bisons, also called Bison priscus, were the ancestors of the modern bison species found across some parts of North America and Europe.
The experts believe the remains of the ancient bison can reveal crucial lead about how this species went extinct.
According to the reports, the researchers maintained high alertness while shifting the well-preserved animal to Siberia’s Yakutian Academy of Sciences, where they performed an autopsy of its dead remains.
The autopsy report showed that the animal’s internal organs were nearly intact with presence a very little fat, suggesting it may have died from starvation 90 centuries ago.
Olga Potapova, from South Dakota’s Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, said, “The Yukagir bison mummy became the third find out of four now known complete mummies of this species discovered in the world, and one out of two adult specimens that are being kept preserved with internal organs and stored in frozen conditions.”
Important organs like lungs, heart and digestive tract of the mummified animal were also found nearly intact. Moreover, some organs were found smaller as compared to their living counterpart. The animal’s fur and other soft details are still preserved with the help of the deep-freezing process, researcher said.
Ancient bisons and mammoths that are unearthed from the ice in their mummified form become a wealth source of information about the animal for the paleontologists and biologists, thanks to pristine condition.
Some reports suggest that the researchers are now looking forward at the possibility of cloning these once-extinct animals, bringing them back to life.