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Zhur: A Mummified Pleistocene Gray Wolf Pup ( Canis lupus) from Yukon Territory, Canada

42 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2020 Publication Status: Review Complete

See all articles by Julie Meachen

Julie Meachen

Des Moines University - Department of Anatomy

Matthew J. Wooller

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Alaska Stable Isotope Facility

Benjamin D. Barst

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Water and Environmental Research Center

Juliette Funck

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Alaska Stable Isotope Facility

Carley Crann

University of Ottawa - A.E. Lalonde AMS Laboratory

Jess Heath

Alpine Veterinary Medical Center

Molly Cassatt-Johnstone

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Beth Shapiro

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Elizabeth Hall

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program

Susan Hewitson

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program

Grant Zazula

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program

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Abstract

Here we describe the oldest, most complete wolf pup (Canis lupus) mummy discovered to date: “Zhur”, as she was named by the local indigenous Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in community was discovered in 2016 in Yukon, Canada, and is complete with skin, fur, and other soft tissues. We infer that Zhur died ~57,000 years ago and was ~7 weeks old at death. Her mitochondrial genome falls within a clade comprising ancient Beringian and Russian wolf mitochondrial genomes, and isotopic analyses show her diet was composed of mostly aquatic resources. Although mummies like Zhur will unfortunately become more common as the permafrost thaws, their analysis can provide unprecedented insights into extinct ecosystems.

Keywords: Canidae, Phylogeography, Stable isotopes, Eastern Beringia

Suggested Citation

Meachen, Julie and Wooller, Matthew J. and Barst, Benjamin D. and Funck, Juliette and Crann, Carley and Heath, Jess and Cassatt-Johnstone, Molly and Shapiro, Beth and Hall, Elizabeth and Hewitson, Susan and Zazula, Grant, Zhur: A Mummified Pleistocene Gray Wolf Pup ( Canis lupus) from Yukon Territory, Canada. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678693 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3678693
This version of the paper has not been formally peer reviewed.

Julie Meachen (Contact Author)

Des Moines University - Department of Anatomy ( email )

United States

Matthew J. Wooller

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Alaska Stable Isotope Facility ( email )

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660
United States

Benjamin D. Barst

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Water and Environmental Research Center ( email )

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660
United States

Juliette Funck

University of Alaska Fairbanks - Alaska Stable Isotope Facility ( email )

Fairbanks, AK 99775-6660
United States

Carley Crann

University of Ottawa - A.E. Lalonde AMS Laboratory ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7
Canada

Jess Heath

Alpine Veterinary Medical Center ( email )

Molly Cassatt-Johnstone

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ( email )

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States

Beth Shapiro

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States

Elizabeth Hall

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program

Susan Hewitson

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program ( email )

Grant Zazula

Government of Yukon - Yukon Palaeontology Program ( email )

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