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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)

So 40 cm is roughly 16", that doesn't seem incredibly large. Is this why the metric system is so popular? Because everything sounds more impressively sized than it is?
Chris, Chapel Hill
10/06/2019 02:30
9
40
40cm head size. Homo erectus didnt hav a chance.
Anthony Peterson , Virginia
10/06/2019 02:23
6
1
I don’t understand the size. 40 cm is 16 inches so how is that half the length of a full size wolf now
Dave , Usa
10/06/2019 01:24
19
6
An amazing and exciting find ! Those Americans with issues regarding the date, perhaps you should travel more and stop embarrassing the rest of us who have to apologize for ignorance in America. This Country is currently a laughing stock and those of you whom focus on the trivial matters such as how some write dates does not help the cause . Congratulations Yakutia Siberia ! Respectfully ,
Someone owned by Siberian Huskies ...
Zilla, Sandisfield,USA
10/06/2019 01:09
41
32
Great find!
Simikitten13 , USA
10/06/2019 01:00
1
0
@Ronnie Hargrove - look at the tape measure. Tip of the nose is at about 6cm, back of the skull is about 36 cm, total = 30 cm. That’s pretty close to modern wolves.
PseudoSucks, Uk
10/06/2019 00:38
3
1
First, as a Kindergarten teacher, I teach the students BOTH ways of telling the Date. Second, Wolves ears are more rounder than dog's ears. Last, I understand that one can only clone females, bearing females.Oh and " WhiteWolf" , wolves today are not very large, up to 6 ft in length, up to 32" height and up to 110 lbs. Once in awhile there will be a larger one. Wolfdogs can be quite large. BTW Scientists Great Find !
Suzanne, Las Vegas, US
09/06/2019 23:03
7
19
Toilet seat up/down, toilet paper end over/under the roll, date year last/first? This article has great information that has nothing to do with dates, but in the modern computer age, there is a good reason for writing year/month/day regardless of where you are from. If you have a lot of data on your computer, it sorts to chronological date when you write year/month/day. When you use day/month/year, it sorts to all files saved on the first of any month, then the second, etc., etc. Most often, except in specialty situations, is valueless.
Atlatl Al, USA
09/06/2019 22:54
11
16
What a wonderful discovery, complete with brains and fur! I look forward to reading more about this when the research is published. Congratulations to the team!
Myra C., TN/USA
09/06/2019 22:52
11
1
I see bunch of idols across the world, thinking that all Americans are dum, I am American, and I'm capably fine reading ur dates, and this is a wonderful find, this could be apart of the wolves evolution tree, as it is not well developed skull, or it could have been changed due to pressures before it came above land, and yes people wolves ears are rounded, not pointed Like dogs, put I can't wait to learn more about this 40,000s yr old remains of a wolf species :3
Vitalis wolf, Orlando, FL, United States
09/06/2019 21:42
5
25
Beautiful find!
Its day, month, year. Smaller denominations to larger. The US military does this the same way. It just makes sense.
Aaron , US
09/06/2019 20:42
9
7
America is the best country in the history of the world. My people are poor, inbred peasant alcoholics who yearn for the freedoms of the USA. USA #1!
Vladamir Putin, Moscow, Russia
09/06/2019 20:21
41
44
So adorable! Let’s clone him!
Donny, Nashville USA
09/06/2019 19:58
16
15
In Europe all things are written from day-month-year it is also done this way in the military (even the US military) and this is clearly a wolf and not a bear. You only need to compare the skulls to see this is a wolf.
Nisa, Naples
09/06/2019 19:58
14
22
SMH...my peeps...USA...ur embarrassing the crap out of the rest of us who paid attention in our shitty American schools! Come on! Gotta know it all these days, even if it's obvious ur wrong?? They teach us in high school how different countries around the globe use a different format for dates, time, math...etc. Think, even Google!, before u speak please!





To other countries, who are rightfully annoyed by us...my apologies, we're not all that pigheaded and stuck up. We can't all choose where we were born, I guess. It's a mess over here! But, some of us do practice common sense and have manners.





This is a magnificent find! It is a wolf! And just...WOW! Brains intact even! Amazing!





-Meli
Meli, Portland, USA
09/06/2019 18:54
34
39

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