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AN ANCIENT bear has been discovered completely intact after being frozen for 30,000 years.

The now extinct type of cave bear was found on a Siberian island where scientists search for the preserved remains of extinct animals in melting permafrost.

3The bear was preserved in permafrostCredit: AP:Associated Press

Although remains of ancient creatures have been found on the Lyakhovsky Islands before, this adult cave bear discovery is said to be unprecedented.

That's because it's almost perfectly preserved, with its teeth, nose and internal organs all intact after tens of thousands of years.

Scientists think the bear died somewhere between 22,000 to 39,500 years ago.

Its species, Ursus spelaeus, would have roamed the Arctic during the Ice Age.

3The creature died around 30,000 years agoCredit: AP:Associated Press

The species is thought to have gone extinct around 15,000 years ago, meaning seeing an intact carcass like this is very special because scientists usually only find skeletons.

It was first found by reindeer herders.

They then alerted the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Russia.

NEFU researcher Lena Grigorieva said: "This is the first and only find of its kind - a whole bear carcass with soft tissues."

3This type of cave bear is now extinctCredit: AP:Associated Press

Cave bears like this would have roamed glacier covered Europe and Asia alongside creatures like sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths.

The males likely weighed around 1 ton or 2,200 pounds.

That's around 500 pounds heavier than the largest bears that exist today.

Carbon dating will be done on the bear to try and determine a more accurate age.

What is permafrost?

Here's what you need to know...

  • Permafrost is soil that is permanently frozen
  • It's made of soil, sand and gravel fused together by ice
  • Permafrost is widespread in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere
  • It's found across 85 per cent of Alaska, 55 per cent of Russia and Canada, and probably all of Antarctica
  • Because it's frozen year-round, permafrost offers our best chance of finding preserved archaeological specimens
  • Mammoths and other creatures found frozen in Siberia still have their fur, whiskers and even organs in tact
  • Frozen humans dating back thousands of years have been found still sporting tribal tattoos and wearing fur clothing
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In other archaeology news, an ancient 'wine factory' has been unearthed in Lebanon.

A sunken ship has been found in almost perfect condition despite spending 400 years underwater.

And, Ancient Egyptian coffins sealed for thousands of years have been found down a burial shaft.

What do you make of the ancient bear discovery? Let us know in the comments...

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Taiwan Pledges Deeper U.S. Ties as Chinese Jets Harry Island

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen pledged deeper ties with the United States at a dinner for a visiting senior State Department official, on the same day China sent 18 fighter jets to harry the island to express its anger at the trip.

China had earlier on Friday announced combat drills and denounced what it called collusion between the island, which it claims as part of its territory, and the United States. Taiwan scrambled its air force in response.

U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach arrived in Taipei on Thursday for a three-day visit, the most senior State Department official to come to Taiwan in four decades.

Hosting a dinner for Krach and his team at her official residence, Tsai thanked him for coming to attend Saturday's memorial service for late President Lee Teng-hui, the father of Taiwan's democracy, the presidential office said in a statement late Friday.

"I hope that Taiwan and the United States continue to work together to promote peace, stability, prosperity, and development in the Indo-Pacific, positively impacting the region," it cited Tsai as saying.

Taiwan-U.S. relations have made substantive progress in recent years, "with increasingly close interaction", she added.

"I hope that we are able to engage on even more issues and expand our bilateral cooperation, enhancing our relationship as trusted partners and building a solid foundation for the future."

Taiwan is committed to deepening economic cooperation with the United States, Tsai said.

The statement made no mention of the Chinese drills.

Taiwan has been angling to sign a free trade deal with the United States, and has been keen to show Washington the economic benefits Taiwan can bring it.

In May, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, the world's biggest contract chipmaker, said it plans to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona in an apparent win for the Trump administration's efforts to wrestle global tech supply chains back from China.

TSMC's retired founder Morris Chang attended Tsai's dinner with Krach, and appeared prominently in pictures of the event put out by the presidential office.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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