Friday, January 22, 2021

Scientists sequenced Dire Wolf’s DNA. Thanks, Science!

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Say wolves: first of their name, the last of their kind. Yes, you read correctly. According to a new study published today in Nature, scientists have finally been able to sequence the DNA of terrible wolves – and, to borrow a phrase from the 11 a.m. News, what they found might surprise you.

First of all, yes, the terrible wolves are / were real. contrary to The iron Throne‘other famous creatures, dragons, they roamed all over North America – over 4,000 were unearthed from Brea’s Tar Breasts just in Los Angeles. The fearsome wolves became extinct about 13,000 years ago, and for a long time researchers believed that The dog darkens (translation: “formidable dog”) were a sister species of the gray wolf. The document released today, however, says that is not at all true. After analyzing the DNA of five fossilized remains, a team of 49 researchers discovered that terrible wolves separated from other wolves more than 6 million years ago. They were, scientists found, so different from other canine species that – unlike the common rampant incest in the series that made them famous – they couldn’t even have mated with each other.

According to Angela Perri, an archaeologist at Durham University and lead author of the article, this is a lot more information than anyone had before. Saying wolves had “always been an iconic representation of the last ice age in the Americas and now a pop culture icon thanks to The iron Throne,But information about them was limited to what could be determined from the size and shape of their bones and teeth. “With this first ancient DNA analysis of terrible wolves,” she said in a statement, “we have revealed that the story of the terrible wolves we thought we knew – especially a close relationship with gray wolves – is underway. made much more complicated than before. thought.”

What the researchers found was that instead of being some sort of muscular gray wolf, the terrible wolves actually had very distinct DNA. They are about as similar to gray wolves as humans are to chimpanzees. In other words, according to Kieren Mitchell, co-lead author of Perri, University of Adelaide, “All of our data indicates that the terrible wolf is the last surviving member of an ancient lineage distinct from all living dogs. .

This uniqueness may have been their downfall. Gray wolves and coyotes survived the Late Pleistocene times very well, and researchers believe this could have been the result of greater environmental or dietary flexibility (if whatever terrible wolves preyed upon died, they would also die). Or it is possible that these other animals were successful because they were able to “hybridize with other canids” like dogs, acquiring new immunities along the way. (Last year, a separate research team found that domestic dogs separated from wolves around 11,000 years ago and split into five genetically distinct lineages, likely thanks to humans breeding them for certain traits.) Anyway, the reason you don’t have no terrible wolf has everything to do with environmental adaptation and nothing to do with you not being a Stark, or even a bastard pretending to be a Stark until he finds out he’s in. done – oops! – heir to the Iron Throne.

Now if only someone could do some research to understand what had happened to the ancestors of Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.


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