Where dire wolves disappeared ancient predators that disappeared under mysterious circumstances

(ORDO NEWS) — “Dire wolf” is not just a phrase, but a really existing extinct species of mammal Canis dirus, which lived in the Pleistocene era.

However, until now, scientists could not understand why this species disappeared, and what prevented its development.

Even though these wolves’ distant relatives may have thrived, the dire wolves were doomed.

Dire wolves (Canis dirus) were common throughout North America and disappeared about 13,000 years ago. Until now, the scientific world knew little about their evolution. However, a new study has shed light on the history of this species.

Scientists at Durham University have sequenced ancient DNA from the remains of more than 4,000 wolves found in the La Brea tar pits in California.

DNA analysis of dire wolves has shown that they are so different from other species, including coyotes and gray wolves (Canis lupus), that dire wolves could not interbreed with them and thus severely limited their gene pool.

The finds also showed that dire wolves diverged from other members of the genus almost six million years ago and are only distant relatives of the modern species.

Scientists previously thought the extinct species was closely related to gray wolves, but sequencing of ancient dire wolf DNA has revealed their complex evolutionary history.

Dr. Kieren Mitchell, one of the study’s lead authors, added: “Dread wolves are sometimes portrayed as mythical and mysterious creatures (for example, in the TV series Game of Thrones), but the reality turned out to be more interesting.”


Contact us: [email protected]

Our Standards, Terms of Use: Standard Terms And Conditions.