Perfectly preserved 39,000-year-old cave bear found baring its teeth in Siberia

A 39,000-year-old perfectly preserved cave bear and cub have been found in Siberia by Russian scientists.

The extraordinary find on the mainland of Yakutia is a world first because up until now only bones of cave bears have been discovered.

Scientists discovered two complete bear carcasses, including the adult which was bearing its teeth.

The adult was so well preserved by permafrost even its nose is completely intact.

Scientist Dr Lena Grigorieva told The Siberian Times: "Today this is the first and only find of its kind – a whole bear carcass with soft tissues.

"It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place.

"Photographs show the bear's nose is intact.

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"Previously, only skulls and bones were found."

She added the find is "of great importance for the whole world".

Cave bears are a prehistoric species or subspecies that lived in Eurasia from around 300,000 to 15,000 years ago.

The remains will be analysed by scientists at Russia's North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk – the coldest city in the world.

The facility is at the forefront of research into extinct woolly mammoths and rhinos.

Foreign scientists will be invited to join the study, according to Dr Grigorieva, who works at the university's Institute of Applied Ecology of the North.

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The remains of the bears which are believed to date from 22,000 to 39,500 years ago were found by reindeer herders.

The finders agreed to allow North-Eastern Federal University research the remains.

The scientists have promised to reveal more details about the cub which was found in thawing permafrost on the Russian mainland in Yakutia.

Recent years have seen major discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos and other extinct species as the permafrost thaws in Siberia.

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