Frozen in time: 5 prehistoric creatures found trapped in ice

Artist's depiction of woolly mammoths and ancient bison roaming a frozen plain.
Woolly mammoths and prehistoric bison are among the prehistoric creatures found trapped in frozen time capsule of Siberia. (Image credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Library - LEONELLO CALVETTI)

These frozen prehistoric animals are superbly well-preserved and now famous around the world.

1.  Woolly rhino baby named Sasha 

Preserved body of Sasha the woolly rhino. (Image credit: Yakutian Academy of Sciences)
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This woolly rhino baby (opens in new tab), affectionately named Sasha by the man who found it, was the first young member of its species ever found. It's unclear if it is male or female, but the horn size suggests it had been weaned by the time it died. It roamed the mammoth steppe, a dry, cold region from Spain to Siberia. 

Related: See photos of the extinct wooly rhino baby (opens in new tab) 

2. Lion or lynx

The mysterious mummy kitten lying on its back.  (Image credit: Courtesy of Anastasia Koryakina)
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Scientists unearthed a squashed, mummified cat (opens in new tab) in eastern Siberia in 2017. It could either be a lynx kitten or a cave lion cub. Its coat is in beautiful condition, but we can't be sure of the species as we don't really know what a cave lion looked like.

Related: See photos of the mysterious ice age cat mummy (opens in new tab) 

3. Mammoth calves

Lyuba, one of the perfectly preserved frozen baby mammoths.  (Image credit: University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology)
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Explorers unearthed two mammoth calves dating to about 40,000 years ago in two different areas of Siberia. Researchers took a closer look at the specimens using CT scans (opens in new tab) and discovered that both baby mammoths had choked on mud. The little mammoths appeared otherwise plump and healthy when they met their demise.

Related: See inside the skin and bones of preserved mammoth calves (opens in new tab)

 4. Ancient bison

The almost perfectly preserved bison mummy was found on the shore of a lake in northern Siberia. (Image credit: Dr. Gennady Boeskorov)
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The most complete steppe bison specimen (opens in new tab) ever found is 9,000 years old. It has a complete heart, brain and digestive system, along with near-perfect blood vessels. Some organs have shrunk over time but are remarkable, nonetheless. 

Related: See photos of the 9,000-year-old bison mummy found in Siberia (opens in new tab) 

5. Frozen foal 

Frozen in ice for millennia, this Siberian mummy is the best-preserved ancient horse ever found. (Image credit: Michil Yakovlev/SVFU/The Siberian Times)
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A two-month-old horse (opens in new tab) that died between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago made its way approximately 100 meters (328 feet) below the surface, deep in a Siberian crater. In life, the young horse stood almost 1 m (3 feet) tall, and its hooves are still intact, along with tiny hairs that are still visible inside the foal's nostrils. 

Related: See photos of the perfectly preserved ice age foal (opens in new tab) 

This article was adapted from a previous version published in How It Works magazine, a Future Ltd. publication. To learn more about the wonders of the natural world, subscribe to How It Works (opens in new tab) magazine.

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