Russian diamond miners unearthed the well-preserved body of a strange-looking animal, which they are referring to as a "monster mummy."
The diamond mine where the creature was found is in Udachny, a town in the Sakha Republic in Russia, reports the Daily Mail. The cold and dry climate of the region, which can reach minus 46 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, is credited with preserving the animal’s body.
One of Russia’s largest diamond mines, the location was discovered in 1955, and has been mined since the 1960s. About 1.5 million tons of gemstone ore are removed from the mine each year.
The diamond-bearing sands in which the animal was found date from the Mesozoic Era, about 252 to 66 million years ago, leading to speculation it might be some type of dinosaur, reports The Siberian Times.
But nobody seems to know what it really is.
Unidentified experts say the spine, paw, teeth and fragments of remaining fur indicate that it is probably a mammal that became preserved there much more recently. If it is a mammal, it has been suggested that it might be a fox, pine marten, otter, wolverine, small dog or a fox.
The mammal theory is enhanced by the fact that 12,400-year-old puppy was discovered in 2015 in another part of the Sakha Republic, reports Science Alert.
Discovered in the village of Tumat, it was named the “Tumat Puppy,” and is considered to be an extinct species of canine. In 2011, another puppy, known as “Tumat Dog,” was found in the same icy location.
It is possible both dogs came from the same litter, and they are both suspected to have died in a landslide.
As for the mystery animal that the miners unearthed, it will be taken to the city of Yakutsk, where scientists will attempt to figure out what it is.