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A hen that’s spent the final 46,000 years frozen within the Siberian permafrost was found by fossil hunters in search of ivory.

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A frozen hen found on the bottom in northeastern Siberia by fossil ivory hunters is believed to be round 46,000 years previous and supplies an important piece for researchers to study extra concerning the finish of the Ice Age.

The “exceptionally well-preserved” horned lark was present in 2018 and was despatched to researchers on the Middle for Paleogenetics at Stockholm College and the Swedish Museum of Pure Historical past. 

Researchers discovered that the carcass — a feminine lark — was round 44,000 to 49,000 years previous. That is the primary hen carcass procured from Ice Age permafrost deposits, they be aware. Their findings had been printed Friday within the peer-reviewed journal Communications Biology.

Nicholas Dussex, a researcher at Stockholm College, stated in a press release that the lark can be an ancestor of two totally different lark subspecies — one in Mongolia and one in Siberia. It supplies additional context to the ecosystem this lark lived in over the past Ice Age.

However the researchers’ long-term objective is to map the lark’s genome and work out the way it compares to fashionable subspecies for horned larks.

“This helps us perceive how the range of subspecies evolves,” he stated in a press release. 

The identical group is wanting into whether or not Dogor, the 18,000-year-old pet additionally discovered within the Siberian permafrost, is a canine or a wolf.

Observe Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

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