A pair of petrified teeth confirm the existence of hyenas north of the Arctic Circle during the last Ice Age. The discovery fills an important fissile gap, which finally explains how the hyenas came to North America.
A pair of isolated teeth of hyena found in the old warfare pool of the Canadian Yukon territory shows that the hyenas have taken over the Arctic during the last Ice Age, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Open Quaternary. Paleontologist Gajji Jack Cact of Buffalo University identified the teeth that were held in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa as belonging to the genus Chasmaporthetes also known as "runners" because of the usually longer legs compared with other hyenas. The two isolated teeth were identified from over 50,000 mammalian fossils collected over the past 1
The teeth were originally identified as belonging to other genus hyenas, Adcrocuta. However, "based on the geological and geographic record of the two different groups of hyenas, we came to the conclusion that these specimens are unlikely to be Adcrocuta ," said Tseng. Identifying the teeth, Ceng said that the specimens were "out of sight, from the mind," collected in a museum collection for decades. Only a few experts on fossil hyenas have studied them, "and after we did, it was very easy to identify and describe the specimens," he said.
Paleontologists have found evidence of ancient hyenas in Africa, Eurasia and southern North America. However, the lack of fossil evidence in the northern Arctic areas was like a giant puzzle with a bright hole in the middle. The two xenon teeth are the missing part that completes the puzzle.
It is important that new evidence suggests that ancient hyenas have passed from Eurasia to North America. traveling through the land of Beringia during the last Ice Age when the sea levels were much lower than they are today. We now have "physical evidence of Chasmpaporthetes who travel through or live in the Arctic region between their native home in Asia and their newly discovered territory in North America," said Cenz of Gizmodo. People took a similar route to reach North America about 15,000 years ago, but the migration of the hyena happened much earlier. The teeth are dated by other researchers between 1.4 million and 850,000 years ago, and the confidence tilts more towards the older figure. It is important to note that the earliest evidence for hyenas in North America dates back 5 million years, so the first hyenas must have passed from Eurasia before that.
Unbelievably, the new evidence also fills a huge geographic gap – fossil distances of more than 10,000 kilometers between the so-called New and Old World recordings of that kind, according to the new study.
Imagine the hyenas thrive in the harsh conditions of the Arctic Circle during the Ice Age, "said the co-author of the study and paleontologist Yukon Grant Zazula at Buffalo University. Chasmaporthetes probably hunted herds of caribou and glacier and horses, or they were throwing corpses of mammoths on the vast steppe tundra stretching from Siber to Yukon.
Indeed, these ancient Arctic hyenas, like those still around today, were predators and scumbags. Scientists believed that Chasmaporthetes were less able to crack bones than other hyenas, but Tseng said they could bruise bones as they could cut meat.
A multiple "triple threat" of a predator who can run with his long legs, hunt and cut meat with sharp teeth and search with his powerful premalignant teeth, he said. About today there are only four types of hyena, but these animals have once been diverse, including dozens of species that span the northern hemisphere. When people arrived in North America, the hyenas have long vanished, disappearing at some point about 1 million and 500,000 years ago. The reasons for their disappearance are not quite clear, but could have anything to do with the competition from Arctodus simus – a short bear whose management in North America lasted until the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago.
As a last note, Gizmoo asked Ceng about the stunning portrayal of the ancient arctic hyenas (shown above in its unrelated form). He said his team was "very happy" to collaborate with the Canadian artist Julius Tottoni on this incredible work.
"We wanted to portray the Arctic in early spring, with native plants and animals, and we are provoking to be provocative with the pale fur of the hyenas to speculate on the potential camouflage these arctic predators might have had," he said The Baby Mammoth represents some of the most common grazing animals that may have been the victims of hyenas. "Julius uses a" photorealistic "style of illustration that really attracts us into a cold tundra of the Ice Age!"