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Frozen bird found in Siberia is 46,000 years old

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Scientists studying the remarkably well-preserved remains of an Ice Age bird have identified the specimen as a horned lark.
Buried and frozen in permafrost near the village of Belaya Gora in north-eastern Siberia, the bird was discovered by local fossil ivory hunters, who passed it on to a team of experts, including Nicolas Dussex and Love Dalén from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, for testing.
Radiocarbon dating revealed the bird lived around 46,000 years ago, and genetic analysis identified it as a horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), according to a paper published Friday in the journal Communications Biology.

The preservation of the bird is explained in large part by the cold of the permafrost, explained Dussex, but this specimen is in extraordinarily good condition.
"The fact that such a small and fragile specimen was near intact also suggests that dirt/mud must have been deposited gradually, or at least that the ground was relatively stable so that the bird's carcass was preserved in a state very close to its time of death," said Dussex.

 
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What I find most interesting about it is how intact it was and to be able to stay intact and not scavenged while it was slowly/gently covered.
 
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What I find most interesting about it is how intact it was and to be able to stay intact and not scavenged while it was slowly/gently covered.
That is neat how it was preserved in such good condition, could have been covered suddenly too so the scavengers didn't have an opportunity to get at it.
 
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That is neat how it was preserved in such good condition, could have been covered suddenly too so the scavengers didn't have an opportunity to get at it.
You would have thought if it was covered quickly it would be sort of violent and bust up those tiny buffalo lark wings and legs.
 
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Hmmm, wonder how much usable DNA we can get out of it for some quick sequencing
 

sneekypeet

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Thread heavily cleansed. Thread bans issued. Stay on topic, as we all know what the next step is!
 
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I'd bet it tastes better than the modern chicken nuggets that have been in my freezer for ~5 years.
 

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I'd bet it tastes better than the modern chicken nuggets that have been in my freezer for ~5 years.
It's straight out of the X-files but the probability of a dead animal, especially bird, in the frozen tundra holding ancient bacterial or viral matter is pretty high. You have to wonder what would happen if someone found such a thing, mistook it for recently dead, and cooked it. Would the virus/bacteria be dead (cell damage from water freezing) or would it be a viable pathogen? Scary.
 
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You might get super powers; it's Equally possible, imho.
:)

(Cooking kills bacteria. Bacterial Toxins are a credible worry, however. Botulism bacteria doesn't kil you, the Toxin does.)

What would be interesting is to sequence its DNA, and look for viral inclusions in it's closest special relative's DNA, so we see what all the modern birds have dealt with since then.
 
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