The finding of the wolf puppy became international big news, not least we reported about the find at Vetenskapsradion.
The mummified wolf puppy was found in the Yukon, in northwestern Canada, by people who worked in gold mining there. The find is especially interesting because the animal is so well preserved with muscles, fur, teeth and claws. This is the view of Love Dalén, professor at the Center for Paleogenetics in Stockholm.
– For being this old it is fantastically well preserved. A few other wolves have been found, especially in Siberia, which are at least as well preserved as this one. But this one is clearly older than her, he says.
Using a line different methods, the researchers now know a lot more about the little puppy. For example, it lived during the Ice Age, about 50 to 60 thousand years ago, and died when it was six to seven weeks old.
Investigators believe the wolf died in the lyan when the entrance suddenly collapsed. And because of that diet, they could also indirectly see that the mother ate a lot of salmon.
– I think it’s pretty cool that you can still see that there must have been some decent rivers that the wolves used as early as 50,000 years ago, Love Dalén says.
According to Love Dalen the DNA of this wolf puppy is probably well enough preserved that the researchers will eventually be able to map the entire genome.
– When they do, it really starts to get exciting. This particular puppy, because he is so old, can make a significant contribution to understanding how the Ice Age wolves evolved and are related to today’s wolves, he says.
Meachen J, et al.”A mummified Pleistocene gray wolf pup (Canis lupus) from Yukon Territory, CanadaCurrent Biology, 2020. DOI: 10.116/j.cub.2020.11.011.
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