Now this is cool!
In September, two hunters boating down a stream in Siberia noticed some wavy, auburn locks poking out of the permafrost—a dead reindeer, they thought. After realizing their mistake, they liberated the rhino’s body from the thawing soil and stored it through the worst of the winter. Last week, they delivered the body to the Sakha Republic Academy of Sciences.
Sasha is one of the few woolly rhinos yet discovered, and the only calf. Experts estimate she was just 18 months old when she died. Her discovery should help researchers better understand woolly rhinos’ living conditions, how they developed as they grew, and how they’re related to living rhino species.
Even though some Siberian predator has chewed off Sasha’s backside, the half that was buried in permafrost is largely intact. In addition to the skeletal leg, torso, and head, the calf has an ear, an eye, teeth, two horns, and a big flap of wool-covered skin. Perhaps most important, it might also still contain DNA. If scientists can recover an intact sample, they’ll be able to determine which species of (for-the-moment) living rhino is most closely related to the extinct woollies.
The two hunters posed with Sasha and researchers at the Sakha Republic Academy of Sciences on Feb. 25. This is probably the least sad picture of hunters standing next to a baby rhino that you’ll ever see.
Source : MSN