40,000-year-old giant severed wolf's head discovered in Siberia

12 Juin, 2019, 08:22 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The first intact head of an adult Pleistocene wolf was found by a group looking for woolly mammoth tusks in Siberia

A 40,000-year-old severed Pleistocene wolf's head has been discovered in eastern Siberia - and the permafrost that preserved it also kept its teeth and fur pretty much intact.

"This is a unique discovery of the first-ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved", said Russian scientist Dr Albert Protopopov.

It was discovered above the Arctic Circle by local man Pavel Efimov in summer 2018 near the remote Tirekhtyakh River but the find was only now revealed.

Although the discovery itself happened a year ago, it was announced in early June at the opening of a woolly mammoth exhibit at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Specimens have been emerging ever more frequently as climate change gradually thaws the permafrost.

Albert Protopopov, director of the department, told CNN that while frozen wolf cubs had been unearthed in the past, the discovery of an adult wolf's head was novel. The head is 40 cm (15.7 inches) long and the brain is intact.

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The DNA examination will take place at the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the discovery was announced in Tokyo, Japan, at the Woolly Mammoth exhibition.

It was found by mammoth tusk hunters in Siberia's Verkhoyansk region.

'We want to assess their physical capabilities and ecology by comparing them with the lions and wolves of today'. The head of the Ice Age wolf was unveiled at a woolly mammoth exhibition in Tokyo last week.

"We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance".

"It's important for science because wolves in the Pleistocene were broadly dispersed like cave lions", he said.

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