HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Specialized, bone-crushing wolves of Alaska disappeared long ago

The ancient gray wolves that once roamed the icy expanses of Alaska represented a specialized form that apparently died out along with other big animals at the end of the Pleistocene, many thousands of years ago, researchers report online on June 21st in the journal Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The extinct Alaskan wolves had robust bodies, strong jaws, and massive canine teeth for killing prey larger than themselves and regularly consuming large bones, according to the researchers.

Our results are surprising as the unique attributes of Alaskan Pleistocene wolves had not been previously recognized and show that wolves suffered an extinction at the end of the Pleistocene, said Blaire Van Valkenburgh of the University of California, Los Angeles. If not for their persistence in the Old World, we might not have wolves in North America today. Regardless, the living gray wolf differs dramatically from that which roamed Alaska just 12,000 years ago.

The gray wolf is one of the few large predators that survived the mass extinction of the late Pleistocene. Nevertheless, wolves disappeared from northern North America at that time.

To further explore the identity of Alaskas ancient wolves in the new study, the researchers collected skeletal remains of the animals from Pleistocene permafrost deposits of eastern Beringia and examined their chemical composition and genetic makeup.

Remarkably, they discovered that the late-Pleistocene wolves were distinct from existing wolves, both genetically and in terms of their physical characteristics. None of the ancient wolves were a genetic match for any modern wolves, they report. Moreover, the animals skull shape and tooth wear, as well as a chemical analysis of their bones, all suggest that eastern Beringian wolves were specialized hunters and scavengers of extinct megafauna.

The ancient wolves had relatively more massive teeth and broader skulls with shorter snouts, e
'"/>

Contact: Erin Doonan
edoonan@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
21-Jun-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Presence of wolves allows aspen recovery in Yellowstone
2. Ice Age extinction claimed highly carnivorous Alaskan wolves
3. Researchers determine why wolves not dispersing as fast as expected in Yellowstone
4. Contagious cancer in dogs confirmed; origins traced to wolves centuries ago
5. Killing wolves may not protect livestock efficiently
6. Gray wolves maintain the food chain in winter
7. The lost genetic legacy of American gray wolves
8. Wolves of Alaska became extinct 12,000 years ago, scientists report
9. Academy paleontologist and Alaska artist in line for natural history awards
10. University of Alaska Fairbanks awarded $3.8M for bird flu research
11. Changing ocean conditions led to decline in Alaskas sea lion population

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung ... global partnership that will provide end customers with a ... and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational ... lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells ... this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... & Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... Review , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, ... the escalating cost of cancer care is placing ... a result of expensive biologic therapies. With the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. (RCA), a ... webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. This ... charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the Regulatory Authorities ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: