Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia

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‘Lake Baikal is contains more water than the five US great lakes combined’
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009
By The Siberian Times reporter
07 June 2019

Sensational find of head of the beast with its brain intact, preserved since prehistoric times in permafrost.

The Pleistocene wolf’s head is 40cm long, so half of the whole body length of a modern wolf which varies from 66 to 86cm. Picture: Albert Protopopov

The severed head of the world’s first full-sized Pleistocene wolf was unearthed in the Abyisky district in the north of Yakutia. 

Local man Pavel Efimov found it in summer 2018 on shore of the Tirekhtyakh River, tributary of Indigirka.

The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died. 

Pleistocene wolf

The wolf, whose rich mammoth-like fur and impressive fangs are still intact, was fully grown and aged from two to four years old when it died. Picture: Albert Protopopov

The head was dated older than 40,000 years by Japanese scientists.

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the Pleistocene predator’s DNA.

‘This is a unique discovery of the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved. We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance,’ said an excited Albert Protopopov, from the Republic of Sakha Academy of Sciences. 

Map

Local man Pavel Efimov found it in summer 2018 on shore of the Tirekhtyakh River, tributary of Indigirka.

The Pleistocene wolf’s head is 40cm long, so half of the whole body length of a modern wolf which varies from 66 to 86cm. 

The astonishing discovery was announced in Tokyo, Japan, during the opening of a grandiose Woolly Mammoth exhibition organised by Yakutian and Japanese scientists. 

CT scan


CT scan


CT scan

CT scan of the wolf’s head. Pictures: Albert Protopopov, Naoki Suzuki

Alongside the wolf the scientists presented an immaculately-well preserved cave lion cub. 

‘Their muscles, organs and brains are in good condition,’ said Naoki Suzuki, a professor of palaeontology and medicine with the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, who studied the remains with a CT scanner. 

‘We want to assess their physical capabilities and ecology by comparing them with the lions and wolves of today.’

Pleistocene wolf


Pleistocene wolf

‘This is a unique discovery of the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved.’ Pictures: Naoki Suzuki

4 thoughts on “Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia

  1. So are the wolf haters, still snarling. 😉

    https://www.brainerddispatch.com/news/4623090-fish-and-wildlife-service-host-hearing-gray-wolf-esa-delistment-june-25

    Otherwise known as a rally for the torch-and-pitchfork crowd. I do hope pro-wolf people will attend and have their voices heard. I’m not sure that there is ever a big enough turnout, except for those with financial interests i.e. farming and hunting interests. I thought I read at one meeting recently there were only 44 in attendance.

    Another article I read from an Arizona publication (the Daily Courier) said “Mexican ‘gray’ wolf numbers increasing (not by much, I am sure) and they may lose protection too? I thought the Mexican wolf and the red wolf were going to remain protected?

    This country is going downhill fast.

  2. Oh, I should also say a fascinating article about Pleistocene wolf, but I worry about the Anthropocene wolves. 😦

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