A 57,000-year-old wolf pup, perfectly preserved in permafrost, is finally releasing its secrets after being discovered almost four years ago.
The gray wolf, known as Zhùr by locals, was discovered in Yukon, Canada, near Dawson City, according to a study published in Current Biology. It is believed the 7-week-old female puppy was in her den when she died, the study’s lead author, Julie Meachen, said in a statement.
“We think she was in her den and died instantly in a hole collapse,” Meachen said. “Our data showed she was not starving and was about 7 weeks old when she died, so we feel a little better knowing that the poor little girl did not suffer for too long.”
SCIENTISTS WANT TO CLONE THIS SELECTED, FROZEN PREHISTORIC HORSE
The researchers examined the wolf pup via several different methods, including radiocarbon dating, DNA sampling and oxygen isotope analysis to confirm when the mammal died. The researchers also took x-rays of teeth and bones to confirm its age.
Meachen added that the wolf puppy is “the most complete wolf mummy ever found,” noting that her only eyes are missing.
“And the fact that she’s so complete allowed us to ask her so many lines to fundamentally reconstruct her life,” Meachen explained.
HANGED HEAD OF 30,000 YEARS FOLDED INTAKE IN SIBERIA
The researchers were also able to analyze the puppy’s diet, which was influenced by where she lived.
“Usually when you think of wolves in the ice age, you think of those who eat bison or musk oxen or other large animals on land,” Meachen explained. “One thing that surprised us was that she ate water resources, especially salmon.”
The frozen wolf pup is of extra importance because it was discovered in North America and not Russia or Siberia, where others have been found, including one found in June 2019.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“We have been asked why she was the only wolf found in the cave and what happened to her mother or siblings,” Meachen continued. “It could be that she was the only puppy. Or the other wolves were not in the cave during the crash. Unfortunately, we never know.”