Siberian diamond miners in the remote town of Udachny have just unearthed a treasure of a different kind: a "monster mummy" that they suspect represents a previously unknown dinosaur.
Animal experts offer other possibilities, according to the report in The Siberian Times.
"One theory is a wolverine, a carnivorous mammal that resembles a small bear," the report reads. "Or could it be a sable or marten? For now, no one is sure."
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An article in the Express adds: "Due to the freezing conditions over there, with the average temperature ranging from minus 43.6 C (-110.48 F) to minus 35.2 C (-95.36 F) in January, the mummified beast is almost perfectly preserved with fangs and toe nails still intact."
Based on the photos, the animal looks to be a member of the Mustelidae family of carnivorous animals. This individual appears to have had a slim, ferret-like body, four or five digits and perhaps a single claw on each limb and, most distinctively, a bone-crushing jaw full of impressive fangs and sharp teeth.
Given those characteristics, let's consider a few of the non-dinosaur possibilities named in The Siberian Times:
The Mustelidae family also includes animals such as otters, badgers, weasels, ferrets and minks.
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The remains are expected to be taken to the regional capital city of Yakutsk, where the mummy will be further studied.
As for where it was found, the sands of Udachny date to the Mesozoic Era, 252–66 million years ago. An atomic bomb was detonated there 322 feet underground to produce the mine in 1974. The town is located in the Mirinsky district of the Sakha Republic, Russia, and is located along the Markha River.
Udachny translates to "lucky" or "successful" in Russian.
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