Russian reindeer herders recently stumbled across a surprisingly well-preserved ancient bear carcass. The find wouldn’t be a big deal—except that this intact bear may have been chilling since the Ice Age.
Many Bible-believing creationists believe that God could and did produce conditions perfect for an Ice Age. They say that widespread volcanic activity obscured sunlight and warmed the oceans during and after the Genesis flood. Warmer oceans produced more evaporation into an atmosphere with less sunlight—so it was cooler. The evaporation condensed as snow and ice. All that worked together to help cause the Ice Age—an era of low temperatures on Earth, which expanded ice sheets and glaciers.
But evolutionists don’t accept the possible effects of a global flood. Their belief system requires lots of time (millions and millions of years!) for the huge changes in weather and geographical features that created an Ice Age.
This Ice Age bear carcass was found on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, one of the New Siberian Islands between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea.
North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, Russia, is the premier center for research into woolly mammoths and other prehistoric species. They hail the cave bear find as groundbreaking.
Melting permafrost (continuously frozen ground) revealed the adult cave bear. Its teeth and nose were intact. Previously, scientists had discovered only the bones of more recently extinct cave bears.
In a statement issued by North-Eastern Federal, researcher Lena Grigorieva emphasizes that “this is the first and only find of its kind—a whole bear carcass with soft tissues.”
So far, only a preliminary analysis has been completed. But more is forthcoming. “It is necessary to carry out radiocarbon analysis to determine the precise age of the bear,” says researcher Maxim Cheprasov.
At about the same time as this discovery, a well-preserved carcass of a cave bear cub was also found in another area of Siberia. University scientists didn’t describe its condition in detail. But they hope to obtain its DNA.
Recent years have seen major discoveries of mammoths, woolly rhinos, an Ice Age foal, puppies, and cave lion cubs. The finds keep coming as the permafrost melts across vast areas in the Russian region of Siberia. But this bear is unusual. “It is completely preserved, with all internal organs in place, including even its nose,” Grigorieva says. “This find is of great importance for the whole world.”
(The head of an Ice Age cave bear found in northern Russia. North-Eastern Federal University via AP)