Bone-crushing “Super” Ice Wolves!!   16 comments

Bone-crushing “Super” Ice Wolves!!



Around 12,000 years ago, in the icy forests of Alaska patrols of super-wolves could be found roaming, striking fear into the hearts of all who encountered them. They were much larger and much stronger than the modern Grey wolf, and sporting considerably larger teeth and far more powerful jaws, they were killing machines of very large prey.

This now extinct species, “Beringian wolves”, was discovered by Jennifer Leonard and a group of colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles. Whilst studying the permafrost-frozen remains of ancient time Grey wolves in Eastern Beringia, an area including Alaska and Northwest Canada, they were able to analyse DNA from the "super-wolf" bones, and also to study its genetic make-up.

They proved to be genetically quite different from the wolves we know today. On analysis of their DNA it became very obvious that modern-day wolves are not descendants of these extinct prehistoric "super wolves." They were shown to share a common ancestor, but were also found to be on two separate and diverging branches on the evolutionary tree.

IceWolfAnalysis of the genes found by Jennifer Leonard showed the heads of the Beringian wolves, were shorter and broader and possessing of deeper jaws than was considered usual. They also had very large teeth designed for shaving meat – of the nature that characterise dogs, cats and other carnivores specific to that group.

These hyper carnivores, had skulls adapted totally for the purpose of meat consumption and the use of a bite of such tremendous force that it could kill prey vastly larger than itself, possibly even the Great Mammoths of the time.

Their powerful jaws allowed the Beringian wolves to quickly wolf down carcasses, bones andGrey Wolf everything else, fast enough to avoid the need to fend off competition. This would have included a fierce variety of dangerous and powerful hunters, including the likes of the American lion and the Short-faced bear, the largest bear ever known.

It is possible that the ancestors of today’s Grey wolf found their way into the New World by crossing the Bering land bridge linking Asia to Alaska. They were medium-sized hunters, between coyote and the Dire wolf. With the extinction of the larger Dire wolves, the Grey wolf split into two distinct groups. One filled the evolutionary gap by developing a far stronger skull and fangs, (“super wolves”) thereby filling the gap the larger extinct predators (Dire wolves) left, whilst the second group evolved into a faster, more athletic breed (ancestors of today’s wolves).

Unfortunately, as is the way in evolution the first group of wolves with their specialist requirements for very large prey became its pitfall. When such prey died out during the last Ice Age, so too did the large bone-crushing "super" Grey wolf. Today this creature is lost to us forever.

Unless in some future time mankind figures out a way to re-create them by way of cloning… Not necessarily a wise move!!

16 responses to “Bone-crushing “Super” Ice Wolves!!

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  1. Merhaba benim güzel buz arkadaşım..
    umarım iyisin :))
    size güzel bir gece ve.
    mutlu bir pazar diliyorum..
    kucak dolusu sevgiler gönderiyorum,,
    kendine iyi bak..buz arkadaşım :))

    • Merhaba! İyi akşamlar! Benim güzel arkadaşım Seçil 🙂
      harika Seni tekrar görmek!
      Ben iyi teşekkür ediyorum
      ve ben de seni olacağını umuyorum?
      Bugün iyi bir gün … kızgın güneş oldu! Yağmur yok!
      sarılmak ve sevmek … Buz 🙂

  2. okay… comment disappeared. You could have knocked me down with a feather when you mentioned the Dire wolf. Until I read it here I thought they only existed in Game of Thrones.

  3. Your first graphic of the Super Wolf is amazing Icywolfy, and your brilliant posting
    gives us a greater understanding of Wolves and how they have evolved through the
    ages, unfortunately for the Super Wolf variety they have become extinct, and as you
    have already mentioned, although rather drastic this is for the best as other prey in
    the food chain would not have stood a chance against such a killing machine. I guess
    one could think of such a creature in the same vain as the Great White Sharks that
    roam our seas, they too are killing machines and have through time evolved, indeed
    they have been on Earth since the Dinosaurs, as have many creatures of the oceans.

    I really like this offering icywolfy and I hope that you will be adding a lot more of your
    specialist subject matter, and of course some more Mythology postings too as I always
    find those extremely interesting my great friend and thank you for adding this and all
    of your excellent studies here, which is the right place I should add. Here is where you
    can offer a wide range of themes and always grab the attention of your fine reader base
    so how about that for a bit of encouragement? 🙂 In other words we want some more 🙂

    Have a really nice rest of weekend and try being good for a change okay? 🙂 😉

    Androgoth XXx

    • Wonderful bit of encouragement thank you Androgoth! Hey! Maybe I should go on a blogging spree? 😉 lol…perhaps some of the x-rated stuff that has currently been roaming from my over-active imagination into the strictly private section of my word processor 😉 You know…the password protected ,seriously encrypted file type!! Then again if I don’t want W/P to shut me down…lol

      In ref’ to mythology ones I tripped over the original ki lin blog I thought I’d lost when the laptop died on me, so I hope to update that post very shortly..don’t worry lol it will still be a teeny weeny little post!

      That was a very interesting and valid point you made re the extinction of Dire Wolves. I hadn’t thought about that 🙂 But it’s very true. Also enjoyed your re to the ocean and the Gt White Sharks thank you. A very thoughtful comment that also got me thinking too,,,at least I was thinking prior to that but it was very wicked and naughty thinking! 🙂 But it’s ok…it is pure and innocent thinking again now lol 😉

      • Yes hardly pure and innocent if you were thinking
        about the naughty and wicked as everyone knows
        that you are just too fruity for your own good 🙂 😉

        Have a great rest of evening Icywolfy 🙂

        Androgoth XXx

  4. Brilliant post.Wolfie, really enjoyed it. I beg to differ, not while Wolfie is among us lol

  5. I never knew of these Super Wolves but I am not surprised although I am glad they are no longer around for I fear they might eat you and I for a snack. I love how Wolves have evolved these days. Much research goes into your posts my dear Icewolf friend. I know this takes time, for I am not so good at that. I am a bit of a “Slacker Diva”. LOL

    • They were a bit scary! lol 😉 I would not like to have met a Dire Wolf Alpha Male on a dark night!! I would have been researching ways not to get eaten! lol Perhaps distracting it with your great blog posts would be a good move! 🙂

  6. Hej Wolfie…Tack för titten alltid lika roligt när du springer förbí min sida stannar och pratar lite och springer vidare..Hoppas du inte behöver nvända strumpor dör ja dom försvinner hela tiden..
    Ha en härlig vecka kära varg kram Nicki

    Ps..Härliga arga vargbilder min vän jag gillar dom mycket….

    • Det är en av mina stora nöjena köra mina Wolfie tassar genom din blogg Nicki! Jag försöker fortfarande att påminna dem om att gå igenom bloggare också ibland! Som ni vet jag inte vara alltför framgångsrik;) Ja … strumporna är en mardröm … Jag tvättar dem … de försvinner! Jag köper nya … Jag måste tvätta dem eller kommer de att lukta ost;) 🙂 Men gissa vad? De försvinner också!!

      Arga vargar … 😉 Ja… naturligtvis ser jag aldrig som att … !! jag alltid leende oskyldigt;) Inte riktigt jag blottar mina onda Wolfie huggtänder när jag visar alla mina tänder och morra ilsket! Aldrig!

      Kram Wolfie 🙂

  7. Wünsche dir ein wunderschönes weekend und schieke dir einen lieben Gruss Gislinde.

    • Wölfe Grüße Gislinde!
      Ich wünsche Ihnen einen hellen und sonnigen Wochenende zu 🙂
      Ich hoffe, die Sonne lacht und wärmt Sie Ihren Geist, wie es nach unten strahlt einen an.
      Wochenende Wölfe Umarmungen!
      Wolfie 🙂

  8. Lovely post Wolfie, and I am not surprised that a Super Wolf once existed.. I think there are many things we do not know and only now are piecing together Man’s/Animals evolution as he has developed throughout the ages.. Great Photos you have chosen here.. And If we think back to the Sabre Toothed Tiger, we can see that if they were to survive then they needed the tool/teeth to do so.. And Im happy Wolfie that your own present day wolfie teeth are not so sharp or bonecrushing!… Blessings sent your way xx Dreamwalker xx

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