YAKUTSK, RUSSIA (NBC NEWS) — An 18,000-year-old puppy found preserved in permafrost in eastern Russia was shown for the first time publicly Monday.
The puppy, discovered by a local in the eastern Siberian region of Yakutia in the summer of 2018, is believed to be the oldest canine discovered in the area.
It was found remarkably well-preserved with fur, teeth and even whiskers.
Radiocarbon dating by Swedish scientists confirmed the puppy had been frozen for around 18,000 years.
Scientists are about to do a third round of genome sequencing, which they hope might solve the mystery of whether the specimen is a wolf or dog, or some prehistoric ancestor.
In recent years, Russia’s far east has become a gold mine for scientists studying remains of ancient animals.
As the permafrost melts, affected by climate change, more and more body parts of woolly mammoths, canines and other prehistoric animals are being discovered.
Sergey Fyodorov, a scientist from the North-Eastern Federal University, who has been working on the canine in Yakutsk, also attributed the increased number of discoveries to the high price of mammoth tusks on the Chinese market.
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