The wolf's head is the first of its kind to be discovered preserved

By Matt McNulty
June 14, 2019 01:55 PM
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Valery Plotnikov/AP/Shutterstock

Scientists have discovered the perfectly preserved head of an Ice Age-era wolf that died at least 40,000 years ago in eastern Siberia, reports say.

Researchers found the wolf’s head back in August 2018 in the Arctic region of Yakutia, with the Siberian region’s permafrost preserving the animal’s brain, tongue, tissues and fur, according to the Associated Press.

The animal lived alongside the mammoths, and both species became extinct at the same time, according to Valery Plotnikov, a researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the AP reported.

Scientists concluded the wolf’s head belonged to an adult, which would have been roughly 25 percent bigger than their contemporary counterparts that exist today.

The remains were discovered last year by locals who were searching the area for mammoth ivory, CNN reported. However, scientists only recently revealed the discovery and its significance amongst researchers.

Plotnikov and fellow researchers hailed the discovery as a scientific milestone, as scientists have never found wolf skulls complete with fur and tissues.

“This is the first time the head of an ancient wolf has been found whose soft tissue has been preserved after 40,000 years, a grown wolf,” Albert Protopopov, director of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha, told CNN.

The Ice Age-era wolf’s head, with its perfectly intact brain, is being further examined and investigated.