» Home > In the News

The Russian Permafrost

21 September 2023
Biology, Catastrophism, Geology

At https://www.rferl.org/a/dog-wolves-wooly-rhinos-beasts-russia-permafrost-melting/30318303.html … the Russian permafrost deposits harbour the well preserved remains of prehistoric animals – in remote, icy , locations. Large patches of earth have been frozen for tens of thousands of years. It is sometimes over a kilometre deep. As permafrost has melted, or eroded, it is plundered for its ivory, the hidden secrets can be dug out. There is still a big trade in ivory and the permafrost has lots of it. Some well preserved animals have been pulled out of the permafrost. Not necessarily fully intact, but animals with fur and whiskers attached, and so on. Woolly mammoths for example, rhinos, cryptic dog wolves, big cats. Some of the animals were frozen around 18,000 years ago – at the end of the Late Glacial Maximum – rather than at its beginning. Is that telling us something?

Permafrost locks rocks, soil, and sediments in ice, as well as animals and vegetation. The ice seals out the elements. It is normally topped by a heavy layer of organic matter that doesn’t decompose because of the cold. However, not all the remains date to the very late stage of the Pleistocene. The woolly mammoth found in 2010, known as Yuka, after the Yukagir coast where it was buried, has been dated around 39,000 years ago [roughly at the time of the Laschamp event]. It is amazing how many fossil animals are dated at that time, in various parts of the world. Another nearly intact animal, a foal, or young horse, found in a crater in central Russia, has also been dated  to 40,000 years ago.

Skip to content