The extinct giant wolf separated from the other wolves nearly six million years ago. And they are just distant relatives of wolves today, according to new research published in the journal Wednesday. natureThese wolves are famous in the series. Game of thronesThey were common throughout North America until about 13,000 years ago, after which they became extinct.
The study found that Wolves are different from other breeds such as wolves and gray wolves. They cannot reproduce with each other. Previous analyzes were based on morphology alone, leading scientists to believe that giant wolves were closely related to gray wolves.
The research was led by Durham University in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Oxford, the Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany. The University of Adelaide in Australia and the University of California, Los Angeles in the USA.
For the first time, an international team sequenced ancient DNA from five giant wolf fossils from Wyoming, Idaho, Ohio and Tennessee dating back more than 50,000 years.Their analysis showed that giant and gray wolves were distant cousins. Very common
This is the first time ancient DNA has been taken from giant wolves, revealing the intricate history of these Ice Age predators. A collaboration of 49 researchers in nine countries analyzed the giant wolf genome alongside several wolf-like fangs.
The giant wolf is a distinct species from the rest.
Their analysis suggests that unlike many dogs that repeatedly migrated between North America and Eurasia over time, the formidable wolf evolved. Sole in North America over millions of years.
Although giant wolves overlapped North American coyotes and wolves for at least 10,000 years before extinction. But no evidence was found that they mate with these species. The researchers suggest that their profound evolutionary differences mean that they are likely not ready to adapt to changing conditions at the end of the Ice Age.
Lead author Dr Angela Perri of Durham University’s Department of Archeology said: “Giant wolves have always represented the last Ice Age in America and are now pop culture icons with ‘Game of Thrones’, but what we know about it? And evolution in history is limited to what we can see from the size and shape of bones and teeth. ”
“By analyzing this first ancient DNA from giant wolves, we have revealed that the history of the giant wolf we think we know, especially its close relationship with the gray wolf, is more complex than we previously thought.” “He added.
“Rather than being closely related to other North American dogs, such as gray wolves and wolves, we found that giant wolves represented a tree branch that had broken off millions of years ago, representing the last lineage now extinct. Varieties, ”he said.