Frozen bird discovered
Local ivory hunters discovered a frozen bird carcass buried in permafrost in the village of Beya Gora. They passed the specimen to a team of experts consisting of scientists and Sweden museum officials, Dalen and Dussex, for testing. Scientists with experience in researching the ice age birds revealed that the genetic material of discovered specimen was a horned lark. Horned larks are long small-bodied songbirds, that move in flocks and mainly like to inhabit bare grounds. For instance, the tundra regions with ice. Moreover, their body color varies according to their habitats.
Following the journal communications biology paper which was published on Friday, scientific radiocarbon dating disclosed that the bird lived about 46000 years ago. Furthermore, Dalen said that scientific research showed that the specimen might be an ancestor to two subspecies of lark alive today. These species inhabit northern Russia and Mongolian steppe. He further stated that in relevance to the findings, new subspecies were formed, especially because of the climatic changes experienced.
Moreover, Dussex said that the specimen was entirely in good condition since the ice in the permafrost preserved it and was also on stable ground.
“The fact that such a small and fragile specimen was near intact also suggests that dirt/mud must have been deposited gradually, or at least that the ground was relatively stable so that the bird’s carcass was preserved in a state very close to its time of death,” said Dussex.
The scientists are determined to conduct studies on the bird’s entire genome. To find its relationship with the current subspecies and be in a position to estimate the rate of evolutionary transitions.
Frozen dog discovered
Other than the bird, frozen specimens were also obtained. The carcasses discovered were body parts from mammoths, wolves and woolly rhinos. Such findings are considered precious as their DNAs or RNAs were extracted from and preserved for future reference. A frozen puppy was also uncovered at the exact time as the bird. Meanwhile, scientists are examining it.
Carbon dating conducted on the creature’s rib bone showed that the specimen had lived for about 18000 years. Although the extensive DNA tests have not yet revealed whether the creature was a dog or a wolf, the experts are hoping to uncover more detailed information soon. Uniquely the scientists can easily distinguish specimens. The scientists hope that with further testing they will figure out when the dog was precisely domesticated.
The need to treat significant discoveries as precious
Over some time, scientific research has been of great help. As the knowledge provided has not only educated but has also aided in medical studies, especially the genetic material of organisms. When significant discoveries are made, they conduct quick tests to get first-hand data that may be put to use.