Somewhere in the frozen wasteland of North East Russia as archaeologists were searching for mammoth tusks, they found something a little more surprising, a pair of prehistoric pups. The dogs were estimated to be over 12000 years old and at the time of their death, around 3 months of age. The pups were found near suspected human activity, which suggests that dogs may have been pets of early humans.
Astoundingly, the dog’s fur, teeth, and most of its brain was still intact. “To find a carnivorous mammal intact with skin, fur and internal organs — this has never happened before in history,” said Sergei Fyodorov, head of exhibitions at the Mammoth Museum of the North-Eastern Federal University in the regional capital of Yakutsk.
If finding the prehistoric pups wasn’t amazing enough, a Korean cloning guru is now hoping to bring the mummified mongrel back to life. Hwang Woo-Suk, a South Korean scientist known for his cloning ambitions was in attendance during the autopsy of the dino-dog.
According to Sergei Fyodorov, Woo-Suk was very excited about the dog’s degree of preservation. Dr Pavel Nikolsky, another fellow researcher from the Geological Institute in Moscow confirmed that the preservation degree was about 70-80 percent, which is unheard of. He said, “The carcass is preserved really very well. And one of the most important things is that the brain is preserved.” It is the first intact brain of a predator that has ever been found from the era.
After washing off the ancient mud and dirt build up, Woo-Suk eagerly took skin, muscle and ear cartilage samples from the canine, so it can be used for his cloning endeavor.
The Korean scientist is presently building an animal cloning facility in China which will support his efforts and is also planning an attempt to clone an extinct cave lion.