40,000 Years Old Giant Wolf's Head Discovered In Yakutia

In summer 2018, local man Pavel Yefimov found the severed head of the world’s first full-sized Pleistocene wolf on shore of the Tirekhtyakh River, close to the Arctic Circle in the region of Yakutia. 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. Later, he handed the ancient head over to scientists from the Science Academy of Yakutia, who dated it to over 40,000 years ago, or the end of the Pleistocene epoch.

The severed head is 16 inches (40 centimeters) long. That's about half the size of a modern wolf's body, which can range from 26 inches (66 cm) to 34 inches (86 cm) long. The astonishing discovery was announced in Tokyo, Japan, during the opening of a grandiose Woolly Mammoth exhibition organised by Yakutian and Japanese scientists.

‘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.

Scientists are now building a digital model of the brain and the skull's interior for further study, Protopopov said and team of scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the Pleistocene predator’s DNA.


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