In eastern Siberia, the first full-size head of a Pleistocene wolf has been discovered perfectly preserved in permafrost for about 30,000 years, according to The Washington Post.
Scientists believe the wolf was 2 to 4 years old. The head is 15.7 inches long, much larger than a modern gray wolf’s head which is between 9 and 11 inches long.
One of the paleontologists studying the wolf’s head, Love Dalén said, “Scientists discovered in recent years that a close relative of modern-day wolves lived in the Northern Hemisphere during the last ice age. These Pleistocene steppe wolves come from a different evolutionary lineage than modern-day wolves...and were slightly larger with more robust jaw bones.”
Scientists have discovered bones and remnants of the ancestral wolf, but never a full frozen adult carcass. A man in the Yakutia district discovered the head last year while searching for mammoth tusks and brought it to Dalén and his crew from the Swedich Museum of Natural History.
A cave lion cub, a mammoth foot, and other fossils were also found at the site where Siberian locals were excavating mammoth tusks by blasting away the permafrost. The Pleistocene Epoch in which the wolf lived stretched from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago.