New paper helps solve mystery of the history of the Falkland Islands Wolf

A new paper involving Environment Institute members Jeremy Austin (also Museum Victoria), Julien Soubrier and Alan Cooper as well as Francisco Prevosti (Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’—CONICET), Luciano Prates (Museo de La Plata), Valentina Trejo (Las Condes) and Francisco Mena (Centro de Investigación en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia) has been published in the journal Nature Communications.

The paper titled ‘The origins of the enigmatic Falkland Islands wolf’ explains how the researchers used carefully extracted DNA from museum specimens of the Falkland Islands wolf (Warrah) and subfossil bones of an extinct South American wolf to discover that the ancestor of the warrah probably walked to the islands across a frozen, narrow marine strait during the last ice age, about 16,000 years ago.

Using DNA from these two extinct species the researchers were able to show they were very closely related. Determining how close was the key to identifying when the ancestor of the warrah reached the Falkland Islands.

Read the paper to find out more about this historical discovery.

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