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:8/25/2014)... the first U.S. outbreaks of the H1N1 virus swept ... people. A university math and biology professor has used ... gain insight into how only a few infected people ... community., The fall 2009 semester hadn,t even started when ... and Wellness Services clinic11 one day, and just two ...
(Date:8/25/2014)... battery-powered DNA diagnostic device invented at New Zealand,s ... commonly used field tool for rapidly detecting suspected ... the level of infection. , The breakthrough device, ... Queenstown Molecular Biology main meeting. It takes advantage ... target DNA sequences in real-time, without the need ...
(Date:8/25/2014)... separation from a device the size of a cell ... acoustic waves, according to a team of engineers., "For ... before analysis," said Tony Jun Huang, professor of engineering ... the integrity of the cells, damages them in any ... surface acoustic waves can separate cells using very small ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):WSU flu outbreak provides rare study material 2WSU flu outbreak provides rare study material 3Revolutionary handheld DNA diagnostic unit allows lab-quality analysis in the field 2Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently 2
(Date:8/26/2014)... , Aug. 26, 2014  That,s Nice LLC, ... markets, today announced the formation of a new dedicated ... development. The expanded team will combine current and new ... at That,s Nice. Guy Tiene ... to lead the team. Tiene was previously Director of ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... InstantGMP, Inc., the only cloud-based manufacturing execution ... structure with increased user accounts to help current and ... Part 11 requirements. , “We want to help our ... said Rick Soltero, President of InstantGMP. “We found ... to have separate accounts for multiple quality managers and ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... August 26, 2014 Formedix, the ... announced the release of Transform for MARVIN: the ... Data Capture (EDC) product line. It was developed ... allows integration with MARVIN, the EDC and Clinical ... study setup time, by allowing instantaneous visualization of ...
(Date:8/26/2014)... 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The crowdfunding campaign for PosturePulse ... on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Backers have already ... biofeedback belt. The $75,000 funding goal for the campaign ... product. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140825/139254 ... the lower back that silently vibrates if the wearer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:That's Nice Announces Expanded Offering For Strategic Content And Public Relations 2That's Nice Announces Expanded Offering For Strategic Content And Public Relations 3Introducing Transform for MARVIN: Providing Further Flexibility for CROs and Sponsors in Partnership with XClinical 2PosturePulse, A Biofeedback Posture-Improving Belt, Improves Posture While Sitting or Standing 2
Cached News: