A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia

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A gigantic wolf head preserved since the last Ice Age has recently been unearthed in an incredibly good condition in Siberia, an estimated 40,000 years since being entombed in frozen wilderness.

A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia

Albert Protopopov


A gigantic wolf head preserved since the last Ice Age has recently been unearthed in an incredibly good condition in Siberia, an estimated 40,000 years since being entombed in frozen wilderness.


The huge head, found by a local man in 2018 along the shores of the Tirekhtyakh River in the Russian Republic of Sakha (aka Yakutia), measures 40 centimeters in length (approximately 16 inches), making it different from any existing wolf specimen scientists have studied from so long ago.


"This is a unique discovery of the first-ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved," said paleontologist Albert Protopopov from the Republic of Sakha Academy of Sciences.


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


Protopopov, along with scientists from Sweden and Japan, is studying the head, considered to be from an adult wolf 2 to 4 years old.


A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia

Albert Protopopov


Their work will include analyzing the ancient animal's DNA and using tomographic techniques to see inside the skull non-invasively.


According to Protopopov, discovering wolf skulls in thawing Siberian permafrost is not uncommon, but they are rarely on the same level as this huge, ancient predator.


"Several puppies have already been found," said Protopopov.


A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia

Naoki Suzuki


"The uniqueness of this find is that we found the head of an adult wolf with perfectly preserved soft tissues and brain."


Along with the wolf, the scientists are also examining a newly discovered cave lion cub, thought to be a female. The researchers believe it may have died shortly after being born and then became preserved in ice.


Nicknamed Spartak, the cub is also incredibly undamaged, giving scientists a fantastic opportunity to study and learn more about those ancient specimens.


A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia

Naoki Suzuki


"Their muscles, organs and brains are in good condition," paleontologist Naoki Suzuki from the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo told The Asahi Shimbun, adding: "We want to assess their physical capabilities and ecology by comparing them with lions and wolves of today."

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Thinking Humanity: A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia
A Huge Severed Wolf Head From 40,000 Years Ago Was Discovered In Siberia
A gigantic wolf head preserved since the last Ice Age has recently been unearthed in an incredibly good condition in Siberia, an estimated 40,000 years since being entombed in frozen wilderness.
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