40,000-year-old severed wolf's head
Albert Protopopov

A well-preserved 40,000-year-old severed wolf's head discovered by local residents in eastern Siberia is now the hottest debating point among scientists and palaeontologists. Unlike wolves in the modern age, the head of this pre-historic wolf seems so large and as it has been preserved by permafrost in all these years, the teeth and fur of the creature remained intact.

Locals discovered this ancient wolf head on the banks of the Tirekhtyakh River in Yakutia while searching for mammoth ivory in the area. Soon after the discovery, they contacted the mammoth studies department at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Sakha. After analysing the discovered head, the expert team confirmed that it is an ancient wolf head which may be at least 40,000 years old. Experts also revealed that this wolf had roamed across the area during the ice age.

Albert Protopopov, the director of the mammoth studies department, revealed that remains of frozen wolf cubs were unearthed in the past, but this is for the first time that the head of an adult wolf is being discovered in the area.

"This is the first time the head of an ancient wolf has been found whose soft tissue has been preserved after 40,000 years, a grown wolf. The number of discoveries is growing because of the thaw of the permafrost," Protopopov told CNN.

Experts believe that the wolf might be aged somewhere between two and four years when it died. The head of the creature is 15.7 inches is long, and the brain is intact.

Protopopov also added that the number of such discoveries will happen quite often in the coming years, as the planet is getting warmed. More studies on these well-preserved ancient carcasses are expected to unveil more mysteries of the ice age in the coming months.