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Sasha (Woolly Rhino)
Animal Mummy
Sasha
Biographical Information
Clas Unknown
Species Woolly Rhino
Age juvenile
Sex
Length Unknown
Source
Culture Unknown
Date(s) 39,000 ya
Site Siberia
Current Location
Location
Catalog #
A nearly complete frozen mummy of a woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) was discovered in a gold mine on the lower reaches of the Kolyma River, north–eastern Siberia in 2015. This is the first find of the whole body of woolly rhino in permafrost. A large part of the mummified body was preserved, including the left part of the body, covered by skin, including skin of the head and ear, fore and hind legs. The skull with two horns and the lower jaw were also recovered. Most of the internal organs were lost, except the intestines, stomach, and their contents. A rib fragment was dated to 39,140 ± 390 years ago. How Sasha died, and was so well preserved, is also still a mystery.

Mummification

Naturally preserved in the Siberian permafrost.

Studies

The rhino is about 1.5 meters long (4.9 feet) and 0.8 meters high (2.6 feet)- adults of the species could reach up to 15 feet (4.5 m) long and 6 feet (1.9 m) high at the shoulders.

It was covered by thick hair that was originally a light strawberry blond color. An analysis of Sasha's teeth revealed it was about very young, certainly less than three years.

It had two small horns, and based on the size of its horns, it is supposed it was weaned from its mother; spore and pollen analyses of the stomach contents indicate that grasses and sage brushes formed the main part of its diet.

Researchers hope to extract DNA from the specimen to sequence the animal's genome. This would allow scientists to identify the rhino's closest relatives, and determine whether there were one or two species of woolly rhino in the Late Pleistocene.

Additional

Held by the Yakutian Academy of Sciences in Russia.

References

https://www.livescience.com/50100-baby-woolly-rhino-discovered.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277379111000680

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/01/sasha-woolly-rhino-mummy-siberia-ice-age-spd/

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