AN amazing 40,000 year old foal has been found perfectly preserved in a Siberian crater nicknamed the “Mouth of Hell”.
The three month old dark brown horse dating from the Palaeolithic period is described as “unique in the world”.
The Siberian Times The team of scientists who discovered the foal
The foal was preserved in permafrost since the Ice Age and is expected to give scientists a mass of new information about the development of the species.
It was found by an expedition to the Verkhoyansky district of Yakutia and was dug from its permafrost grave some 100 ft beneath the original surface of the depression.
A picture shows the tiny horse encased in mud but one account said that its legs have ‘zebra-like’ stripes.
The Siberian Times The Batagai depression where the foal was discovered is known as the ‘gateway to the underworld’
The foal was found at the Batagai depression in the Siberian region of Yakutia – a sprawling territory famous for the discovery of remains of extinct woolly mammoths.
Head of the world famous Mammoth Museum in regional capital Yakutsk, Semyon Grigoryev, said: “The foal was approximately three months old (when it died).
“The unique find was made in the permafrost of Batagai depression. The foal was completely preserved by permafrost.
The Siberian Times Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum, described the find as ‘unique’
The Siberian Times The sprawlin Verkhoyansky area of Yakutia where the foal lived 30-40,000 years ago
“The extra value of the unique find is that we obtained samples of soil layers where it was preserved, which means we will be able to restore a picture of the foal’s environment.”
The foal lived between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago and its discovery will give scientists a unique insight into the development of the species.
‘We will report the exact time when it lived after studying the soil samples,’ said the scientist, reported The Siberian Times. “The foal has completely preserved dark-brown hair, its tail and mane, as well as all internal organs. There are no visible wounds on its body.
The Siberian Times Inside the Batagai depression
The Siberian Times An aerial view of Batagai a tadpole-shaped depression, two-thirds of a mile long and 900 yards wide
“This is the first find in the world find of a pre-historic horse of such a young age and with such an amazing level of preservation.”
Batagai is a tadpole-shaped depression or “megaslump” two-thirds of a mile long and 900 yards wide.
Locals in the remote Yakutia region see this spectacular crater as superstitious, and know it as the “gateway to the underworld”.