40,000-year-old severed wolf’s head discovered in Siberia

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

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

A 40,000-year-old severed wolf's head, preserved by permafrost complete with teeth and fur, has been discovered in eastern Siberia.

Although the discovery itself happened past year, it was announced in early June at the opening of a woolly mammoth exhibit at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.

Locals looking for mammoth ivory found the remains on the banks of the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia, before bringing it to the mammoth studies department at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha. Specimens have been emerging ever more frequently as climate change gradually thaws the permafrost.

The wolf was found around the same time as a previously announced cave lion cub named Spartak and the Ice Age remains are displayed together. The head is 40 cm (15.7 inches) long and the brain is intact. The wolf is believed to have been between 2 and 4 years old when it died.

Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History will examine the Pleistocene predator's DNA, reported The Siberian Times.

The snarling beast with its brain intact was found preserved in permafrost in the Yakutia region on Siberia. The head of the Ice Age wolf was unveiled at a woolly mammoth exhibition in Tokyo last week.

Working with Russian scientists, they plan to compare the animal's genetic make-up and morphology to the wolves of today.

"We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance".

"This is the first time the head of an ancient wolf has been found whose soft tissue has been preserved after 40,000 years, a grown wolf", he said. Scientists hope to clone the unusually well-preserved foal.

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