werewolf, werewolves and lycans

New Species of Wolf Discovered

Did you ever hear that thing about Iceland and Greenland being named in reverse relative to each other? Like, Iceland sounds all frozen and frigid, nothing to see but ice and snow, and it’s really quite beautiful. Greenland, on the other hand, isn’t green. At all. They named it that to trick people into settling there. That’s what I was taught in school, anyway. I’ll have to take the teacher’s word for it, since I haven’t been to either place. I mention Greenland here in this article only because it is the home, or *was* the home, to a newly discovered but recently extinct species of Arctic wolf. This species was wiped out by hunters in the 1930s.

The genomes of some dead wolves recovered in Greenland recently were compared to those of wolves living in North America. The DNA of those not-too-long-dead wolves showed enough disparity from the DNA of other wolves that it qualifies them as a separate species, the “Polar wolf.” These latter are not believed to be descended from the earlier, extinct species. They won’t be able to say for certain, though, until they compare the DNA of both species.

There aren’t too many Polar wolves living in Greenland currently, somewhere between 200 and 500. The DNA samples showed evidence of inbreeding, suggesting that the Polar wolf has been isolated from its cousins for quite some time. Since the 1970s, it would seem, when the new species of wolves moved into the area and filled the void left by the extinct wolves.

The Evil Cheezman • December 4, 2018

Previous Post

Next Post