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Extinct Beringian wolf morphotype found in the continental U.S. has implications for wolf migration and evolution.

Abstract

Pleistocene diversity was much higher than today, for example there were three distinct wolf morphotypes (dire, gray, Beringian) in North America versus one today (gray). Previous fossil evidence suggested that these three groups overlapped ecologically, but split the landscape geographically. The Natural Trap Cave (NTC) fossil site in Wyoming, USA is an ideally placed late Pleistocene site to study the geographical movement of species from northern to middle North America before, during, and after the last glacial maximum. Until now, it has been unclear what type of wolf was present at NTC. We analyzed morphometrics of three wolf groups (dire, extant North American gray, Alaskan Beringian) to determine which wolves were present at NTC and what this indicates about wolf diversity and migration in Pleistocene North America. Results show NTC wolves group with Alaskan Beringian wolves. This provides the first morphological evidence for Beringian wolves in mid-continental North America. Their location at NTC and their radiocarbon ages suggest that they followed a temporary channel through the glaciers. Results suggest high levels of competition and diversity in Pleistocene North American wolves. The presence of mid-continental Beringian morphotypes adds important data for untangling the history of immigration and evolution of Canis in North America.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Anatomy Department Des Moines University 3200 Grand Ave Des Moines Iowa 50312.

    ,

    Department of Biology University of Washington Box 351800 Seattle Washington 98195.

    Anatomy Department Des Moines University 3200 Grand Ave Des Moines Iowa 50312.

    Source

    Ecology and evolution 6:10 2016 May pg 3430-8

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    27252837

    Citation

    TY - JOUR T1 - Extinct Beringian wolf morphotype found in the continental U.S. has implications for wolf migration and evolution. AU - Meachen,Julie A, AU - Brannick,Alexandria L, AU - Fry,Trent J, Y1 - 2016/04/24/ PY - 2016/01/04/received PY - 2016/03/22/revised PY - 2016/03/27/accepted PY - 2016/6/3/entrez PY - 2016/6/3/pubmed PY - 2016/6/3/medline KW - Canis KW - last glacial maximum KW - migration KW - wolf SP - 3430 EP - 8 JF - Ecology and evolution JO - Ecol Evol VL - 6 IS - 10 N2 - Pleistocene diversity was much higher than today, for example there were three distinct wolf morphotypes (dire, gray, Beringian) in North America versus one today (gray). Previous fossil evidence suggested that these three groups overlapped ecologically, but split the landscape geographically. The Natural Trap Cave (NTC) fossil site in Wyoming, USA is an ideally placed late Pleistocene site to study the geographical movement of species from northern to middle North America before, during, and after the last glacial maximum. Until now, it has been unclear what type of wolf was present at NTC. We analyzed morphometrics of three wolf groups (dire, extant North American gray, Alaskan Beringian) to determine which wolves were present at NTC and what this indicates about wolf diversity and migration in Pleistocene North America. Results show NTC wolves group with Alaskan Beringian wolves. This provides the first morphological evidence for Beringian wolves in mid-continental North America. Their location at NTC and their radiocarbon ages suggest that they followed a temporary channel through the glaciers. Results suggest high levels of competition and diversity in Pleistocene North American wolves. The presence of mid-continental Beringian morphotypes adds important data for untangling the history of immigration and evolution of Canis in North America. SN - 2045-7758 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27252837/Extinct_Beringian_wolf_morphotype_found_in_the_continental_U_S__has_implications_for_wolf_migration_and evolution_ L2 - http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2141 ER -