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    The Origin Of The Falkland Islands Wolf

    Monday, June 3, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-22T18:55:29Z
    The Falkland Islands wolf, hunted to extinction in 1876, was the only mammal living on the Falkland Islands when they were discovered by explorers in the 17th century.

    They were amazingly tame and earned a species name meaning “stupid dog of the south.” Its presence on the islands confused naturalists, including Charles Darwin, who wondered how it ended up being the only land mammal so far from the mainland. A study published in Nature has solved this mystery.

    Scientists previously believed the wolf diverged from its mainland relatives around 330,000 years ago.

    Analyzing DNA from an extinct relative has now shown it only diverged around 16,000 years ago, a glacial period when an ice bridge to the islands from Argentina could easily have existed.


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