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:
TAG: Specialized bone crushing wolves Alaska disappeared long ago

(Date:4/16/2014)... Sometimes known as Kennedy,s disease, spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy ... progressive muscle weakness and atrophy. Researchers have long considered it ... the cells in the spinal cord and brainstem that control ... the April 16, 2014 online issue of Neuron , ...
(Date:4/16/2014)... store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes ... parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ... Eventually, that could give insights into disorders that typically ... affect memory, such as schizophrenia and depression. , Located ...
(Date:4/15/2014)... Ohio (April 16, 2014)A new study from the Women,s ... D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published ... The North American Menopause Society., The authors analyzed the ... a number of menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, night ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Mutant protein in muscle linked to neuromuscular disorder 2How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops 2Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... Two champions of science, technology, engineering, and ... annual competition for middle and high school students designed ... study. The competition presents students with real-world problems experienced ... Mathematics, and Sciences is a program administered by ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Freeslate, Inc ., the leading provider of ... one of India’s top five pharmaceutical companies, has received ... for high throughput solid form screening. , Lupin, ... range of quality, affordable generic and branded formulations and ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... Carahsoft and CDS Federal Services have ... at 2pm EST (11am PST), “Natural Language Processing: Converting ... how technology can turn raw, heterogeneous data into actionable ... The online webinar will last approximately one hour. , ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... (PRWEB) January 14, 2014 EquitiesIQ, a ... Inc. (OTCQB: ALQA). Alliqua is an emerging biomedical company ... the wound care market. , Free report download: ... with a seasoned management team and Board, which launched ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 2Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 5Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3Webcast - Natural Language Processing: Converting Raw Data into Actionable Knowledge – Hosted by Carahsoft and CDS Federal Services 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 2EquitiesIQ Initiates Coverage of Alliqua, Inc. 3
Cached News: