WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The well-preserved head of a 30,000-year-old Pleistocene wolf was found complete with its fur and teeth in the melting permafrost in eastern Siberia.
- The severed head of the specimen is around 6 inches longer than that of a modern wolf.
- It will be used by scientists to compare with modern wolves and analyze how the species have evolved and changed their appearance.
The melting permafrost in eastern Siberia has been yielding many paleontological wonders this year. This includes the remains of a mammoth, a whole ice age baby horse, and most recently the severed head of a wolf.
What makes this find so amazing is that the head is so well-preserved that it still has its fur and fangs intact. This means that the University of Sweden’s researchers will be able to analyze the wolf’s tissue. Fossil records aren’t usually preserved well enough to make this possible.
This is the world’s first full-sized Pleistocene wolf head found by a local named Pavel Efimov. He discovered it last summer in the permafrost close to the Tirekhtyakh River in the Abyisky district.
The head of a modern wolf can be about 9 to 10 inches long. However, the Siberian specimen was measured to be around half a foot longer, having a total length of 15.7 inches. The Siberian Times estimates that the large wolf was between 2 and 4 years old when it died.
Albert Protopopov, director of mammoth studies department at the Academy Sciences of the Republic of Sakha, says that they will be using the specimen to analyze how modern-day wolves have evolved and reconstructed their appearance over tens of thousands of years.
Protopopov estimated that the wolf head is over 40,000 years old. A pair of scientists also working on the project, Love Dalén and Valeri Plotnikov from the Swedish Museum of Natural History and Yakutia Academy of Sciences, estimated that the wolf died around 30,000 years ago.
Source: Fox News