dire wolf canada

First-ever prehistoric Dire Wolf fossil found in Canada

We got dire wolves, folks! That's right, the *not mythical* creatures portrayed in Game of Thrones once actually lived and thrived in Canada.

A very large jaw bone from the extinct and prehistoric canine with intact teeth was found in Medicine Hat, Alberta, but it wasn't confirmed to have come from a dire wolf until earlier this week.

This finding means that the distribution of such ancient pups was much larger than previously thought, with the landmark finding marking the "northernmost occurrence of the species in North America."

Thousands of other dire wolf samples or fossils have been found in Los Angeles, Wyoming, Idaho, Ohio and Tennessee as well, but the Medicine Hat fossil is Canada's first. 

The specimen from the wolf is indeed of ancient times, anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 years old, according to radiocarbon dating.

dire wolf canada

The bones and teeth were badly crushed, according to Royal Ontario Museum researchers, and appear to be from an "old individual."

National Geographic says these prehistoric wolves weighed some 150 pounds and were much heavier than today's common grey wolves.

According to researchers, this specific bone was found on what is now known as Treaty 7, the traditional territory of the Blackfoot and Metis people.

It is not exactly sure how the wolves came to be in Canada from their usual territory of Asia, with researchers saying the species could have possibly followed an ice-free migratory pattern.

Lead photo by

James St. John

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