40,000-year-old Ice Age wolf head found in Siberia

The first intact head of an adult Pleistocene wolf was found by a group looking for woolly mammoth tusks in Siberia

What they found was nothing short of extraordinary.

If you can tell me something more metal than finding a giant 40,000-year-old wolf's head half buried in Siberian permafrost while out hunting for ancient mammoth ivory, then I would bloody love to hear it.

The body part, discovered near the remote Tirekhtyakh River, is believed to have been magnificently preserved in the Siberian permafrost. But people have previously found other remains of ancient wolves, such as a mummified wolf pup that lived over 50,000 years ago in Canada.

"We want to answer the question of whether these wolves disappeared or turned into modern wolves, how much they are related to modern wolves", Albert Protopopov, head of mammoth fauna studies at the Yakutia academy of sciences, told The Telegraph.

The frozen wolf's head, discovered previous year, was found about the same time as a "perfectly preserved" lion cave cub. The Washington Post also notes that scientists from Japan, Russia and the United States are working to create a digital model of the brain and skull.

The find, which follows the discovery of a number of ancient cave lion cubs in the same region in 2015 and 2017, represents another amazingly well-preserved animal recovered from Yakutia: its fur, fangs, skin tissue, and even brain tissue are still seemingly intact.


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

Earlier this year, scientists announced the discovery of liquid blood and urine within the frozen remains of a 42,000-year-old foal, also preserved in permafrost.

In 2016, there was an outbreak of Anthrax in western Siberia.

It is reportedly the first ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with tissue this well preserved.

In 2016, Russian scientists said an outbreak of anthrax in western Siberia was due to the thawing of a frozen carcass of an infected reindeer that died 75 years ago.

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