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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

9,000-year-old bison mummy may provide clues to species extinction (+video)

• http://www.csmonitor.com

Hidden away under frozen ground for nearly 10,000 years, an extremely well-preserved bison mummy is finally ready to give up its secrets.

In 2011, members of the Yukagir tribe in northern Siberia discovered the remains of a steppe bison (Bison priscus), an extinct ancestor of the modern bison that still roam the plains of North America and northern Europe. The almost perfectly preserved bison was transported to the Yakutian Academy of Sciences in Siberia, where researchers made plans to perform an autopsy on the animal.

While other steppe bison mummies have been discovered over the years, none have been as well-preserved as the so-called Yukagir bison mummy, which was found with its internal organs almost completely intact, according to Olga Potapova, the collections curator and manager at the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs in South Dakota, who helped study the ancient mammal.

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