Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ice Age Wolves are Unlike Modern Counterparts



Alaska wolves that disappeared about 12,000 years ago are unlike the wolves running around Alaska right now. By looking at the DNA from the 12,000-yr-old wolf teeth found in the permafrost, scientists found that these Ice-Age contemporaries had no relationship to modern wolves.  Most modern wolves have  longer noses and slender skulls compared to the wide jawed wolves of the past.  “Relatively deep jaws are characteristic of habitual bone crackers, such as spotted hyenas,” wrote the scientists, including Van Valkenburgh and Jennifer Leonard of the University of Uppsala, in an article in Current Biology. The deep jaws are believed to better equip the animals to scavenge and snap through strong bones to "get at the sweetness inside."

Read more from the Valdez Star: http://www.valdezstar.net/story/2012/10/03/main-news/ice-age-mystery-wolf-didnt-survive-in-alaska/201.html

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