Michil Yakovlev, editor of the university’s corporate media, said: “Hopefully, the world will soon meet the clone of the ancient foal who lived 42,000 years ago.”

The foal was originally dug out

of the permafrost last summer but the blood was only extracted on February 28.

It's discovery was kept secret until today.

Six years ago blood was found in a mammoth carcass on Malolyakhovskiy island, dated as 28,000 years old.

Other samples - some older - taken from mammoths have been found not to be of sufficient quantity for cloning.