Dire wolves: first of their name, last of their kind. Yes, you read that correctly. According to new research published today in Nature, scientists have finally been able to sequence DNA from gloomy wolves – and to borrow a phrase from the news at 11 o’clock, what they found might surprise you.
First of all, yes, gloomy wolves are / were real. In contrast to Game of Thrones‘other famous creatures, dragons, they used to roam across North America – more than 4,000 have been excavated from the La Brea tar graves in Los Angeles alone. Creepy wolves became extinct 13,000 years ago, and for a long time scientists believed it The dog is subdued (translation: “fearsome dog”
According to Angela Perri, an archaeologist at Durham University and the paper’s lead author, it’s much more information than anyone had before. Dire Wolves had “always been an iconic representation of the last ice age in America and now a pop culture icon thanks to Game of Thrones,“But information about them was limited to what could be determined by the size and shape of their bones and teeth. “With this first ancient DNA analysis of gloomy wolves,” she said in a statement, “we have revealed that the story of the gloomy wolves we thought we knew – especially a close relationship with gray wolves – is actually much more complicated. than we previously thought. “
What researchers found was that instead of just being some kind of amplified gray wolf, gloomy wolves actually had very distinct DNA. They look almost like gray wolves as humans are with chimpanzees. In other words, according to Peris co-author Kieren Mitchell of the University of Adelaide, “all of our data suggests that the grim wolf is the last surviving member of an ancient genus different from all living dogs.”
This uniqueness may have been their downfall. Gray wolves and coyotes survived the late Pleistocene era just fine, and scientists believe it could have been the result of having more environmental or dietary flexibility (if everything deep in the wolf died, they died too). Or it is possible that the other animals managed it because they were able to “hybridize with other dogs” as dogs and gain new immunities along the way. (Last year, a separate research team found that domesticated dogs split from wolves about 11,000 years ago and split into five genetically distinct genera, probably thanks to humans breeding them for certain traits.) Whatever the reason you do not have one your own expensive wolf has everything to do with environmental adaptation and nothing to do with the fact that you are not a Stark or even a bastard pretending to be a Stark until he finds out that he actually is – whoops! – inheritance to the iron Throne.
Now if only someone could investigate something to find out what happened to the ancestors of Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion.
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