This 14,000-year-old puppy ate a huge woolly rhino for last meal
Hungry like the wolf.
This dog could say he’s so hungry he could eat a rhino and not be accused of hyperbole.
An autopsy of a prehistoric puppy revealed that it had a most unusual final meal — a piece of what could be one of the last woolly rhinos. The 14,000-year-old perfectly preserved specimen — believed to be a young dog or wolf — was first uncovered by Russian scientists in Tumat, Siberia, in 2011, reported CNN.
“It’s completely unheard of,” said Love Dalen, a genetics expert at Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics who is studying the specimen. Researchers initially thought the yellow shard belonged to a cave lion, however new tests revealed it to be a woolly rhinoceros — a shaggy herbivore that roamed Europe and northern Asia during the Pleistocene epoch.
Through radio carbon dating, scientists determined that the stomach sample was 14,400 years old, meaning that the particular rhino existed just hundreds of years before the species went extinct. Throw in the fact that ice puppy is around 14,000 years old, and it could have potentially “eaten one of the last remaining woolly rhinos,” Dalen told CNN.
The findings are particularly groundbreaking as Dalen is not “aware of any frozen Ice Age carnivore where they have found pieces of tissue inside.”
In fact, they’re not entirely sure how the hangry canine managed to get a bite of rhino. Although it’s unlikely the diminutive doggo managed to take down the creature, which measured on average up to 12.5 feet long with a weight of 2 to 3 tons, according to Rhinos.org.
Dalen speculates that it “came across a baby rhino that was dead, or the (adult) wolf ate the baby rhino.”
“This puppy must have died very shortly after eating the rhino, because it’s not very digested,” he said, adding that perhaps an angry adult rhino had exacted revenge for its dead infant.
An even greater mystery is how the woolly rhino went extinct so rapidly. Researchers previously blamed the species’ demise on human predation, but now theorize that a massive heatwave could’ve killed it off.
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