14 votes

Still snarling after 40,000 years, a giant Pleistocene wolf discovered in Yakutia

20 comments

  1. [20]
    stromm Link
    I'm really tired of shoddy reporting... "The Pleistocene wolf’s head is 40cm long, so half of the whole body length of a modern wolf which varies from 66 to 86cm. " When reality is that Wolves are...

    I'm really tired of shoddy reporting...

    "The Pleistocene wolf’s head is 40cm long, so half of the whole body length of a modern wolf which varies from 66 to 86cm. "

    When reality is that Wolves are much longer... "On average, adult wolves measure 105–160 cm (41–63 in) in length".

    4 votes
    1. [12]
      CALICO Link Parent
      Subspecies of Canis lupus are not necessarily that large, Arctic Wolves (Canis lupus arctos) for example are much smaller in comparison. If one is using a measurement including tail, and another...

      Subspecies of Canis lupus are not necessarily that large, Arctic Wolves (Canis lupus arctos) for example are much smaller in comparison. If one is using a measurement including tail, and another is not, that could be a source of the disparity as well.

      5 votes
      1. [11]
        stromm Link Parent
        Why would you be selective when the article isn't? Also, I just looked back at the article and the image doesn't jive with the statement. The tape measure starts off screen, but the tip of the...

        Why would you be selective when the article isn't?

        Also, I just looked back at the article and the image doesn't jive with the statement.

        The tape measure starts off screen, but the tip of the nose is at about the 8 or 9 cm mark. The head (not counting the obvious neck area), ends at about the 38cm mark. So this head is really only about 30cm. Which compared to even a Steppe Wolf whose head is between 22cm and 27cm, isn't that much larger.

        BTW: A Steppe Wolf is considered "a wolf of average size" for the world.

        Lets now compare it to the Eurasian Wolf, which is native to the same area this head/neck was found. Adults from Russia measure 105–160 centimetres (41–63 in) in length.

        I'm glad you replied so I was more motivated to collect easily accessible information that just shows more how much the author of this article didn't do any credible research.

        1. [10]
          CALICO Link Parent
          Principle of Charity. The Washington Post version of this story (with better picture) cites the length of the head to be 15.7 inches long (39.88cm), and the head of a grey wolf to be between...

          Why would you be selective when the article isn't?

          Principle of Charity.

          The Washington Post version of this story (with better picture) cites the length of the head to be 15.7 inches long (39.88cm), and the head of a grey wolf to be between 9.1–11 inches. That's 43–73% larger.

          Working with 105–160cm for the length of a wolf, the head ranges 23–28cm and the tail 29–50cm. If we subtract head and tail from length, we get a range of 53–82cm, which is reasonably close to the body length cited in this post. Considering that the Siberian Times is a Russian site commenting on the work of Japanese scientists, it's reasonable to assume that nuance has not been appropriately translated, and our interpretation of their article is affected by this. I don't see a reason to assume journalistic malpractice when a more charitable interpretation is present.

          3 votes
          1. [9]
            stromm Link Parent
            Why did you select a grey wolf? It's not an average sized wolf. Then you compared the purported length, which I show how it can't be that length, you the smallest grey wolf head instead of the...

            Why did you select a grey wolf? It's not an average sized wolf.

            Then you compared the purported length, which I show how it can't be that length, you the smallest grey wolf head instead of the longest.

            Also, when length of an animal is scientifically figured, it's without tail but with head. So your measurement is off.

            1. [8]
              CALICO Link Parent
              Washington Post chose it, and their photo clearly shows the 40cm measurement to be accurate. The Siberian Times is not a scientific journal.

              Washington Post chose it, and their photo clearly shows the 40cm measurement to be accurate.

              The Siberian Times is not a scientific journal.

              1. [7]
                stromm Link Parent
                Look again at the photo. The tape measure starts off to the right of the image. There's a good 8cm - 9cm to the right of the tip of the nose. That's taking into account for the angle. Next, the...

                Look again at the photo.
                The tape measure starts off to the right of the image. There's a good 8cm - 9cm to the right of the tip of the nose. That's taking into account for the angle.

                Next, the head/skull does not go all the way to the far left of the specimen. It stops right about where the color of the fur changes. That part is the neck.

                Next, line up where the head actually ends with the tape measure and you're looking at about the 39cm mark.

                39-9=?

                1. [6]
                  CALICO Link Parent
                  You didn't click on the WaPo link at all. Here is a direct link to the image. It is a different picture than in the Siberian Times. It's as aligned as you can get without living in orthographic space.

                  You didn't click on the WaPo link at all. Here is a direct link to the image. It is a different picture than in the Siberian Times. It's as aligned as you can get without living in orthographic space.

                  1 vote
                  1. [5]
                    stromm Link Parent
                    Keep proving my point. Left-side, tip of the nose is at about 2cm. Right-side, line of fur change is at about 30cm. 30cm - 2cm =???

                    Keep proving my point.

                    Left-side, tip of the nose is at about 2cm.

                    Right-side, line of fur change is at about 30cm.

                    30cm - 2cm =???

                    1. [4]
                      CALICO Link Parent
                      I can't find a single source anywhere that suggests your numbers are accurate. Every single one cites 40cm. Your arbitrary line in the fur isn't worth very much compared. Give me a source, find me...

                      I can't find a single source anywhere that suggests your numbers are accurate. Every single one cites 40cm. Your arbitrary line in the fur isn't worth very much compared. Give me a source, find me a paper. Just because you decided that's where the head ends does not make it so.

                      1. [3]
                        stromm Link Parent
                        I get every one uses words 40cm. But open your own eyes and look at the images you insisted on me referencing. As to reference of modern wolfs, even a simple Wikipedia search will give you all...

                        I get every one uses words 40cm. But open your own eyes and look at the images you insisted on me referencing.

                        As to reference of modern wolfs, even a simple Wikipedia search will give you all that info.

                        1. [2]
                          cfabbro Link Parent
                          Almost 3 whole days you two have been going at it now. It's pretty clear neither of you is going to budge from your positions at this point, so why are you both keeping this tedious argument...

                          Almost 3 whole days you two have been going at it now. It's pretty clear neither of you is going to budge from your positions at this point, so why are you both keeping this tedious argument going? @CALICO too.

                          3 votes
                          1. stromm Link Parent
                            :) Internet time when people aren't always online, seems a lot more than it really is.

                            :) Internet time when people aren't always online, seems a lot more than it really is.

                            1 vote
    2. [7]
      a_wild_swarm_appears Link Parent
      first thing I thought too. But all the same, I wonder if CRISPR could help bring this thing back to life. That'd be awesome!

      first thing I thought too.

      But all the same, I wonder if CRISPR could help bring this thing back to life. That'd be awesome!

      1. [6]
        Keegan Link Parent
        I don't agree with bringing animals back to life. Natural selection caused them to become extinct, and they should remain that way. People always point to Jurassic Park in their reasoning why...

        I don't agree with bringing animals back to life. Natural selection caused them to become extinct, and they should remain that way.

        People always point to Jurassic Park in their reasoning why things shouldn't be brought back, being afraid of them killing humans. But I feel like the bigger part of the issue is that it adds a new species into the mix that has no natural predator, meaning that it can't really be controlled. Look at the anacondas in the marshes of Florida which have caused massive amounts of damage to the ecosystem to see an example of this.

        I don't feel like humans should try to play god in such a manner.

        1. [2]
          balooga Link Parent
          Wasn't that the core message of Jurassic Park? Humans playing god results in unforeseeable, unintended consequences. The "dinosaurs eating humans" bit was just one facet of the total system...

          Wasn't that the core message of Jurassic Park? Humans playing god results in unforeseeable, unintended consequences. The "dinosaurs eating humans" bit was just one facet of the total system breakdown that occurred. It's been a long time since I read the book but IIRC it emphasizes this a good deal more directly than the movie.

          2 votes
          1. Keegan Link Parent
            Yes it is, but some people don't realize it. You're correct. The book talks a lot more in depth about the dinosaurs' diets and how they got loose on the mainland at the end of one of the books.

            Wasn't that the core message of Jurassic Park?

            Yes it is, but some people don't realize it.

            It's been a long time since I read the book but IIRC it emphasizes this a good deal more directly than the movie.

            You're correct. The book talks a lot more in depth about the dinosaurs' diets and how they got loose on the mainland at the end of one of the books.

            2 votes
        2. [3]
          a_wild_swarm_appears Link Parent
          I'm kind of on the fence. I 100% agree your reasoning is valid, but we already do that with pets. It might take a bit longer but the end result is the same. Dogs have no natural predators for...

          I'm kind of on the fence.
          I 100% agree your reasoning is valid, but we already do that with pets. It might take a bit longer but the end result is the same. Dogs have no natural predators for example, dogs as they exist today are pretty much a human construct. How is that any different? Because the process was slower? Because you don't really notice it on a day to day basis?

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Keegan Link Parent
            I don't think we should have done that with pets either. Look at chihuahuas and pugs. They are so unnatural and have a huge range of health issues.

            I don't think we should have done that with pets either. Look at chihuahuas and pugs. They are so unnatural and have a huge range of health issues.