A frozen head of an ice age wolf, believed to have died 40,000 years ago, was found in Siberia. A local man looking for mammoth ivory found the wolf’s head in the Abyisky District of northern Yakutia in Russia in August 2018.
Now scientists are saying the find could lead to more discoveries. They are examining if hunters could have severed the wolf head.
The frozen head is so well and perfectly preserved that the wolf looks like it may have just died recently.
Valery Plotnikov, the chief researcher of the Mammoth Fauna Study Department at the Academy of Sciences of Yakutia, believed that the wolf could belong to a different subspecies of the mammal that roamed the Yakutsk region 40,000 years ago.
The wolf lived during the Ice Age or the Pleistocene epoch that began about 2.6 million years ago and lasted until about 12,000 years ago.
Thanks to Siberia’s permafrost, the animal’s brain, fur, tissues, teeth, and even its tongue have been perfectly preserved.
“Modern wolves do not have this kind of yellow color,” unless the color was due to soil oxidation at the place where the head was found, said Plotnikov.
Speaking in Russian, Plotnikov explained why the discovery is so unique.
This is the first time they have found skulls of wolves with the tissue, fur, ears, and even the tongue in tact, said Plotnikov, adding that even the brain is perfectly preserved.
Scientists were surprised to find out that this is a different subspecies of wolf that lived during the mammoth period and became extinct together with the other mammoths.
Russian, Japanese, and Swedish scientists are currently examining the head with the latest technologies, hoping that the discovery of this Ice Age wolf head could lead to a more interesting answer.