The Remarkable Discovery of a 30,000-Year-Old Mummified Squirrel

A gold miner found a grapefruit-sized fur ball, which turned out to be a 'perfectly preserved' 30,000-year-old squirrel. X-ray scans revealed the mummified Arctic ground squirrel in great condition, curled up as if sleeping in the ice age.

The discovery was made in the Klondike gold fields near Dawson City, Yukon, an area perfect for preserving creatures from that era due to the permafrost.

Grant Zazula, a Yukon government paleontologist, described the initial discovery, stating, "It's not quite recognizable until you see these little hands and these claws, and you see a little tail, and then you see ears." The veterinarian who conducted the X-ray scans, Jess Heath, marveled at the great condition of the squirrel mummy, emphasizing how impressive it is to see such a well-preserved specimen from 30,000 years ago.

The preserved squirrel belonged to the same species of Arctic ground squirrels that still inhabit the Yukon today. These creatures make their nests underground, which has allowed for the preservation of many nests from the ice age. Zazula expressed his excitement about the discovery, highlighting how seeing an animal perfectly preserved from 30,000 years ago brings history to life in a visceral way.

The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre announced that they would display the squirrel mummy, allowing people to marvel at the ancient creature that once roamed the Yukon thousands of years ago. This remarkable find serves as a testament to the power of permafrost in preserving creatures and their habitats from a bygone era.

Overall, the discovery of the mummified squirrel sheds light on the rich history of the Yukon and provides a tangible connection to the past for visitors and researchers alike.

Posted in Tech & Science Culture & Travel by Quynh Nguyen

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