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The legendary terrible wolf may not be a wolf at all.science



But this is where most knowledge stops. Because the bones of fierce wolves are similar to those of gray wolves, it is believed that these two animals are closely related.Scientists have long classified terrifying wolves as Dog dimThey are grouped into the same genus with gray wolves, coyotes and dogs. However, one thing that could have been agreed-wolf's DNA-was broken down by pit tar.

In this new study, the researchers investigated North America, trying to extract genetic samples from dozens of ferocious wolf remains in universities and museums. They recovered about a quarter of the nuclear genome and all mitochondrial DNA of five people, ranging in age from 13,000 to more than 50,000 years old.

The research team said in a report today that the genetic material revealed a new evolutionary family tree, and brought a surprise: the ground wolves occupy their bloodlines, and those that cause African jack wolves, gray wolves, coyotes and dogs The species have been separated for nearly six million years. nature. Angela Perry, an animal archaeologist at Durham University and one of the lead authors of the study, said: "Even though they look like wolves, terrible wolves have nothing to do with wolves."

Perri and her colleagues also recovered protein from the collagen of La Brea's terrible wolf, which supports the division between species. More and more evidence persuaded the team to recommend killing terrible wolves from the pack. Kanis Genus and placed them elsewhere in the larger Canid family, in addition to wolves and coyotes, but also foxes, wolves and other dog-like carnivores.Terrible wolf will become amoeba, Is the name proposed in 1918, but scientists largely ignored it.

" amoeba The genus is kept in the historical trash can, but can be resurrected. Said Wang Xiaoming, a vertebrate paleontologist and an expert on ancient canines at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. "Based on the genetic data provided by the group, I will support this reclassification. "

It may also mean reimagining what a terrible wolf looks like.Artist and game of Thrones Creator-often portrays the predator as a large wooden wolf: heavy, gray and ferocious. But Perry said that living in warmer latitudes in North America may make them more common in canines and other animals in this climate, such as red fur, bushy tails and rounder ears. She said that, therefore, the terrifying wolf might resemble "a huge reddish coyote."

Genetic analysis further revealed that these predators may have evolved in the Americas, where they were the only wolf-like species for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. When gray wolves and coyotes arrived from Eurasia about 20,000 years ago, the ferocious wolves were obviously unable to reproduce with them because the researchers found no trace of genetic mixing. Perry said this is unusual because even species like dogs and coyotes can produce offspring. She said this further shows that the terrifying wolf is completely different from other creatures.

Wang still pointed out that the team could not obtain a complete genome from any of its specimens. This may mean a lack of genetic markers, which may indicate that terrible wolves have indeed reproduced with other animals, and may further help classify species. He said: "We are gaining many new insights into the relationship between wolves and other canines, but there are still outstanding issues."

As for why wolves disappeared, scientists only know that they disappeared with other creatures of the Great Ice Age. Perry suspects that climate change may have killed the large Borzoi on which it depends, but gray wolves and coyotes survive because they can track smaller animals. Human hunting of terrible wolf prey may also have played a role, because it may be that wolves and early Native Americans occupied North America for thousands of years.

"These animals are not mythological beasts," Perry said. "They live among us. Not long ago, there were creatures everywhere in the world, and we would never see them again."



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