Surprisingly enough, the 42,000 year old foal's body which was found fully frozen, still has hair and liquid blood.
Scientists discovered a frozen body of an extinct foal in Siberia dating around 42,000 years back in late 2018 and were hoping to find something of value in its body so they could try and clone the extinct species. The baby foal was brought into care and was a subject of extensive study. Surprisingly enough, the foal was found to be in very decent shape, considering the baby has been frozen since centuries and the scientists hoped they could extract cells from its body and clone one in the future. Turns out, it can actually happen!
The foal belonging to an extinct horse species called Lenskaya or Lena horse can possibly be cloned again as the scientists have managed to find liquid blood in the discovered baby horse's body. According to sources, the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk and South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation has come together and are trying to clone the horse species which was wiped out from the Earth ages ago. Ever since the foal was found, researchers have been trying to grow viable somatic cells but they didn't succeed and actually failed over twenty times - until now!
After all the failed attempts, the team, to everybody's surprise, has found liquid blood in the foal's body and will try to grow the cells from the extracted over 42,000-year-old blood now. "The autopsy shows beautifully preserved internal organs. Samples of liquid blood were taken from heart vessels - it was preserved in the liquid state for 42,000 years thanks to favorable burial conditions and permafrost. The muscle tissues preserved their natural reddish color. We can now claim that this is the best-preserved Ice Age animal ever found in the world," Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, told Siberian Times.
"This is extremely rare for paleontological finds, because some of them are either incomplete, fragmented, with serious body deformations or strongly mummified,’ said the expert. The foal’s hair is intact on its head, legs, and part of its body. Its tail and mane are black, the rest of the foal’s body is bay. Having preserved hair is another scientific sensation as all previous ancient horses were found without hair," he added.
It has also been found that the baby horse was really young and about one to two weeks old when it died. "Our studies showed that at the moment of death the foal was from one to two weeks old, so he was just recently born,’ said the scientist. As in previous cases of really well-preserved remains of prehistoric animals, the cause of death was drowning in mud which froze and turned into permafrost. A lot of mud and silt which the foal gulped during the last seconds of its life were found inside its gastrointestinal tract."
The scientists are now claiming that they are super sure about the cloning now that they have found and extracted blood from the mummified animal's body and it won't be long until the world gets to see the extinct animal walking the earth once again. The team is reportedly already looking for a mother animal who will get to bear the historic baby horse. “Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago," said Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media.
However, cloning is often frowned upon by animal lovers and activists as it is not ethical, the mother animal they choose will likely be scared and very confused, and even if the scientists succeed and clone the animal, there is a very high possibility that the cloned animal will have a diminished quality of life and probable health issues. Still, there's no denying that today is a big day for science and if we do master the art of cloning, it might come handy in future. But then again, we all have watched enough movies to know that cloning isn't really a good idea...