|Batagai Foal |
|Site||Batagai crater in Yakutia|
In August 2018, researchers from the Yakutian North-Eastern Federal University in Russia made a unique discovery inside the Batagai crater in Yakutia. An ancient foal of approximately one to two months old; 37 inches (98cm) high at the shoulder, was excavated from the permafrost of the Batagai depression. The foal dates to 30,000 - 40,000 years ago. The foal is claimed to be the best-preserved Ice Age animal ever found. The prehistoric foal is part of a breed of extinct horses dubbed the Lena horse.
A Lenskaya, or Lena Horse (Equus lenensis), is genetically different from modern horses.
Researchers speculate that the young foal must have fallen into a natural trap, a bog or melting ice pool and drowned. The gastrointestinal tract was clogged with mud lending support to the theory. It was then frozen and remained withing the permafrost for up to 45,000 years.
The foal in superb state of preservation. There was no damage to its carcass, even its hair was preserved. It was a bay with a black mane and tail and about one to two months old at the time of its death.
Scientists have drawn liquid blood from samples from heart vessels, and the muscle tissues preserved in their natural reddish colour.
Experts took samples of hair, fluid, and covering soil for a range of tests. A study content of its bowel is planned as is an physical autopsy as opposed to non-intrusive measures.