A baby woolly rhino aged at least 10,000 years old has been discovered by a hunter. The extinct creature was found in the Siberian permafrost, and is the first juvenile of the species to be found in that area. It is so well preserved that its fleece is still intact. Scientists believe it was about 18 months old when it died.
“The find is absolutely unique. We can count a number of adult woolly rhinos found around the world on fingers of one hand. A baby rhino was never found before,” Albert Protopopov, the head of the Mammoth Fauna Department of Sakha Republic Academy of Sciences, told The Siberian Times. “Even to find a skull of a baby rhino is very lucky indeed. The possible explanation to it is that rhinos bred very slowly. Mothers protected baby rhinos really well, so that cases of successful attacks on them were extremely rare and the mortality rate was very low.”
Video about the discovery of Sasha, the juvenile woolly rhino:
The rhino was discovered in one of the largest and coldest regions of Russia, the Sakha Republic, which is also known as Yakutia, according to the Daily Mail. A local hunter, Alexander Banderov, stumbled upon the remains in a ravine last September, originally believing he had found a reindeer.
It was only the woolly rhino’s horns that made Banderov realize he had uncovered something quite different.
“If the adult’s morphology is known, we know nothing about the children. So far, we haven’t even come across teeth, and now we have a skull, head, soft tissue, teeth, hopefully in good condition at our disposal. First, of course, we will watch DNA, because the object is not thawed and it is quite possible its DNA preserved better than the previous findings’ one. I think we can tell about the first results in a week or two,” said Protopopov.
The woolly rhino is far less studied than the woolly mammoth, as fewer specimens have been uncovered. Earlier this year, bones of a woolly mammoth were discovered in a Michigan backyard, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
The unveiling of Sasha to the world:
In general, woolly rhinos are less studied than mammoths, and their cubs are even less known to science. Russian and foreign scientists involved in the research hope that “Sasha” will help shed some light on the conditions these animals lived in. The first results are to be reported in a few weeks, but a more thorough analysis could take up to six months, reported rt.com.
We will have to wait for the first report to find out what they discover.