The well preserved prehistoric find gives scientists hope for cloning the extinct species of canid in the future!
The remains of what is believed to be an extinct puppy, more than 12,400 years old, was unearthed from the permafrost in Tumat in the Sakha Republic of Russia. The Siberian Times reported that the extinct species of pleistocene canid was discovered in close proximity to human activity, suggesting the puppy could have been a pet.
The puppy’s autopsy was performed by researchers at the Moscow’s Geological Institute and can be watched in the video below:
Moscow researcher Pavel Nikolsky told the Siberian times, “Of particular interest to the researchers is the long-lost animal’s brain, which looks to be in excellent shape — about 70 to 80 percent preserved.”
He went on to say, “For now we can see it on MRI scans. Of course, it has dried out somewhat, but the parencephalon, cerebellum and pituitary gland are visible. We can say that this is the first time we have obtained the brain of a Pleistocene canid.”
During the autopsy, South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk collected samples so he could potentially clone the puppy in the future. Hwang Woo-Suk became famous for attempting to clone woolly mammoths, as well as other extinct animals. Woo-Suk is currently building an animal cloning center in China where they hope to clone several different extinct species in the years to come.