http://news.yahoo.com/cavemans-best-fri ... 35084.html
This reminds me somewhat of when they found red blood cells(RBCs) in the remains(fossils?) of a T Rex in Montana. The scientists were quite astounded to find preserved soft tissue inside a creature that was supposed to have lived 65 million years ago. Of course, for someone like me, findings like that simply throw more doubt on the accuracy of their dating methods and their abiity to work accurately over millions, or billions, of years. The ones who discovered this were so surprised that they did a good bit of work trying to come up with an explanation. I think they decided that there was so much iron in the RBCs that it could keep them from decomposing. But I am not impressed. RBCs and soft tissue reserved by nature for 65 million years. Not likely.Moscow (AFP) - The hunters searching for mammoth tusks were drawn to the steep riverbank by a deposit of ancient bones. To their astonishment, they discovered an Ice Age puppy's snout peeking out from the permafrost.
Five years later, a pair of puppies perfectly preserved in Russia's far northeast region of Yakutia and dating back 12,460 years has mobilised scientists across the world.
"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.
And the discovery could contribute to the lively scientific debate over the origin of domesticated dogs.......................
Last year he returned for a more thorough look and found the second puppy close to the same spot, farther down the slope. Both had died when they were about three months old.
They most likely come from the same litter, said Fyodorov............................
Last week he oversaw the removal of the second puppy's remarkably well-preserved brain -- "the first in the world", he said.
"Puppies are very rare, because they have thin bones and delicate skulls," he said. ...............................
What makes the dog particularly intriguing is that it managed to become "man's best friend" even before humans became settled farmers. .......................The second puppy's preserved brain will be compared with that of modern dogs and wolves. Parasites found on its body will be analysed, as will the contents of its stomach, which Fyodorov is particularly excited about.
"When we opened it, we were very surprised. The second puppy's stomach is mostly full of twigs and grass," he said, wondering if perhaps the animals were not exclusively carnivorous or whether they started eating grass after they were trapped by a mudslide and began to starve...................................
"This material is really exceptional and unique," said Mietje Germonpre, a palaeontologist from the Royal Belgian Institute who partnered up with Fyodorov on the project and came to Yakutsk to oversee the autopsy of the second puppy earlier this month.
"The fact that soft tissue is preserved will give much more information compared to information that can be obtained from 'normal' fossils," she said, meaning bones and teeth.
But, any thoughts on this article? Skin and fur and brains and stomach contents preserved out in nature for 12,000 years?