Zhur: A Mummified Pleistocene Gray Wolf Pup ( Canis lupus) from Yukon Territory, Canada
42 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2020 Publication Status: Review CompleteMore...
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
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