Head of 32,000-year-old wolf found in Russian Arctic
15, Jun 2019
Prelims level : Mains level :
- The animal is believed to have been between two and four years old when it died
- A first intact head of a gigantic adult wolf which died about 32,000 years ago and was preserved in permafrost has been found in the Russian Arctic, scientists said on Friday.
- Covered with thick fur, the head was found by a local on the banks of the Tirekhtyakh River in Russia’s remote Arctic region of Yakutia last summer.
- It features a well-preserved brain, soft tissue and a set of powerful teeth and measures 41.5 cm in length.
- By comparison, the torso of a modern-day wolf is between 66 and 86 centimetres long.
- The head was handed to local palaeontologists who teamed up with scientists from the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo to study it.
- Research shows the animal died about 32,000 years ago in the Pleistocene epoch, when the most recent Ice Age occurred.
- The wolf is believed to have been between two and four years old when it died.
- The Pleistocene epoch was the time when megafauna such as woolly mammoths roamed the Earth.
In Arunachal, the golden cat wears new colours
- The various colour morphs of the Asiatic golden cat: (clockwise from top) cinnamon, golden, gray, melanistic, ocelot and tightly rosetted. Photo: Zoological Society of London
- Scientists have found that its coat comes in six types: cinnamon, golden, gray, melanistic, ocelot and tightly rosetted
- Golden is no longer the only colour the elusive Asiatic golden cat can be associated with. Its coat comes in five other shades in Arunachal Pradesh, scientists have discovered.
- The Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) is listed as near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species. It is found across eastern Nepal through north-eastern India to Indonesia.
- Bhutan and China were known to have two morphs of the golden cat — one the colour of cinnamon and the other with markings similar to the ocelot, a small wild cat found in the Americas.