In eastern Siberia, a 40,000-year-old severed wolf’s head complete with teeth and fur has been discovered.

The head was preserved by permafrost, which is a thick layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year. Locals were looking for mammoth ivory, but instead, found the head on the banks of Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia and brought to the mammoth studies department at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha.

“This is the first time the head of an ancient wolf has been found whose soft tissue has been preserved after 40,000 years, a grown wolf,” Albert Protopopov, director of the department, told CNN in an interview.

He added that scientists are now building a digital model of the wolf’s brain and it’s skull to further studies on the ancient animal. Meanwhile, they also distributed DNA of the wolf to be analyzed by a team in Stockholm.

Protopopov claims more remains are likely to be found thanks to global warming. Along with the wolf, an extinct cave lion club has also been preserved by permafrost and is currently being investigated.

“The number of discoveries is growing because of the thaw of the permafrost,” he said.

Related stories:
– Old mold: Fossil of world’s earliest fungus unearthed in Canada
– Mexican wolf pups released into the wild after successful foster program
– Rare wolf killed in Bangladesh after first appearance in decades