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'The Yenisey is powerful, furious hero who does not know what to do with his strength and youth'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

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

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

The cave lion cub named Spartak - previously announced - is about 40cm long and weighed about 800 grams. 

Scientists believe the cub died shortly after birth. 

The recent discovery follows that of the remains of three cave lions in 2015 and 2017 by the same team.

The cave lion cub named Spartak - previously announced - is about 40cm long and weighed about 800 grams. Pictures: The Siberian Times, YSIA

Spartak


Spartak


Research


Frozen cave lion cub

Comments (143)

I think it resembles a bear more than a wolf.
Carla, NY, USA
10/06/2019 17:38
5
14
Your concern for Mother Earth is appreciated. But consider this, how to you explain the warming and cooling cycles the earth has gone through for millions of years? Humans have only been here a small percentage of that and using fossil fuels a little over 100 years.
Glenda , New Smyrna
10/06/2019 17:20
19
48
Can't you all see that it's a bear head ??? Compare with actual bear and actual wolf... you will see ! And if it's perfectly conserved... Why the rest of the corpse isn't here ? It's a manipulation... Oh, and I assume my "complotist" point of view. There is no discover in my opinion... Just peoples who are creating false discoveries to justify subsidies from countries. Money money...
Noémie, France
10/06/2019 15:58
5
60
Cool find.

But 40cm (16") is half the hight of an adult wolf today.

Depending of the species an adult wof's lenght can be between 1.2m to 2m.


So it seems the article headder is wrong
Hector, Merida
10/06/2019 15:37
14
4
• First, I’d like to pay respects to itty bitty fuzzy baby Spartak. :’(



• I can hardly believe that scientists are studying an animal from forty THOUSAND years ago! With fur, ears, a snout, teeth! Imagine a wolf dies today and its body is discovered by scientists in the year 42019!! I think it’s truly amazing... Yay science!!!



• PS: Be nice to us Americans, we’re nice people I promise. :) There’s a difference between being stupid and being ignorant. It’s easy not to know about something we never use from the other side of the world! It does look silly to see 09/06/2019 because even though I know the difference it still took a second to realize the comments weren’t from the future lol! What drives me crazy is that “kilometer” doesn’t follow the other “-meter” units and I always pronounce it wrong... Like “killimeter” the same as millimeter! Where the heck did kill-OH-meter come from?! Lol!
RS - Thinks science is neat, USA, Earth
10/06/2019 11:42
19
7
While my countrymen argue about proper date format and its impact on the future events, I thought the article was interesting. I also suppose that details were left from the article that might be in a published-report from the team doing the work. I will forego the arithmetic solutions based on multiple unknowns and one constant, and leave that to researchers that have the facts.



What I find disturbing is that apparently it is only recently that this canid skull was exposed by melting permafrost, after about 40,000 years. That is another item that makes me know we are warming our Earth. Maybe we could worry slightly less about what size wolf a skull implies--when we have few facts from this article--and concentrate on the fact that all signs point to our Earth's atmosphere heating, as postulated in about 1890.



And yeah, even 40,000 years ago, ranchers demanded compensation for livestock killed by any wolves, great or small.
Bob, United States
10/06/2019 09:15
8
14
Looks to me that they probably died at the same time, probably in a global flood
Jeff Webb, Vandalia, Ohio USA
10/06/2019 08:23
4
19
The mummified body of a girl in a red cape with some fossilized goodies was found close nearby.
flexdoc, US
10/06/2019 07:30
31
3
I'm confused. What has the date (and how its written) got to do with a discovery of a 42,000 year old beautifully preserved wolf???
Jason, Brighton, England
10/06/2019 07:18
7
0
This find is significant! We are moving in directions that can finally help us understand evolution. This is what we were all waiting for. Amazing find, it’s Pleistocene Park! Wow wow!
I . Sklar, New York USA
10/06/2019 06:59
8
2
This will be cloned somewhere for sure. Public or not....
MT, Brisbane
10/06/2019 06:40
9
1
Nice to know that even in posts as important as this one the US manage to make it about themselves.
Narcissists.
Evie Hanlon, Townsville, Queensland, Australia.
10/06/2019 06:34
10
34
Congratulations on the discovery!
Amy, Indianapolis, USA
10/06/2019 05:43
5
0
Suzanne, Mackenzie Valley wolves, the ones introduced into the Northwestern states (NOT reintroduced, as only the smaller timber wolf is indigenous to the region) easily reaches 200 lbs.
Judy, Rapid City SD
10/06/2019 04:04
0
5
Meli please keep your opinions to yourself. You have no clue about any American except those close to you, so kindly stifle. Thank you. :)
Mariyn, Minnesota, USA
10/06/2019 03:18
17
6

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