World News

40,000-Year-Old Bear-Like Wolf Found Preserved in Siberian Permafrost

40,000-Year-Old Bear-Like Wolf Found Preserved in Siberian Permafrost

The animal's head was found with teeth and fur inside frozen snow.

Scientists have confirmed the creature with a severed head, which was preserved in the permafrost, was a wolf after speculation in Russian Federation it could be a bear or even a mythical "bearwolf".

The 42,000-year-old foal was found by mammoth tusk hunters in the Verkhoyansk region in Siberia. That's apparently the case in eastern Siberia, where a man came across the remains along the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia last summer.

The Washington Post reports the wolf's head had been reserved in permafrost since the Pleistocene era - about 30,000 years ago. Dr Protopopov said the head could have been severed by the ice but "we do not exclude that it could have been cut artificially". 5000-Year-Old Mummified Cats Uncovered From Egyptian Excavation Site in Cairo, View Pics. Albert Protopopov, director of the mammoth studies department at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha, told CNN that they had found cubs before, but never an adult: "This is the first time the head of an ancient wolf has been found whose soft tissue has been preserved after 40,000 years, a grown wolf".

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Scientists are now trying to render a digital model of the brain and the skull's interior for further study while a team in Stockholm, Sweden is trying to analyze the wolf's DNA, Protopopov said. He added, "It is definitely a wolf".

The head is 40cm long and believed to have belonged to a wolf that was somewhere between two and four years old when it died. Scientists say that they had stronger jaws that helped them killed even bigger animals like bison.

The discovery was announced in Tokyo during the grandiose Woolly Mammoth exhibition. Humans didn't begin to inhabit the region where it was discovered until about 32,500 years ago.


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