Scientists Necropsy Near-Complete Bison Mummy

Lookin' good, for a 9,300-year-old

Hey, Good-Lookin'

Dr. Gennady Boeskorov

Researchers have just finished a necropsy of this nearly complete (and somewhat gruesome) carcass of a Siberian steppe bison.

This species (Bison priscus) was one of a group of large mammals, including woolly mammoths, that went extinct at the end of the last Ice Age. For about 9,300 years, this specimen lay frozen where it fell in eastern Siberia, before being discovered by Yukagir tribesmen in 2011. It is one of the most well-preserved cases ever discovered, according to the press release.

The Yukagir bison mummy, as it is named, has a complete brain, heart, blood vessels and digestive system, although some organs have shrunk significantly over time. The necropsy of this unique mummy showed a relatively normal anatomy with no obvious cause of death. However, the lack of fat around abdomen of the animal makes researchers think that the animal may have died from starvation.

Researchers believe studying the bison will help them discover new details about its kind and how they went extinct.