College of Sciences

Researchers Find First Evidence of Ice Age Wolves in Nevada

Posted: December 13, 2012

A UNLV research team recently unearthed fossil remains from an extinct wolf species in a wash northwest of Las Vegas, revealing the first evidence that the ice age mammal once lived in Nevada.

The metapodial, or foot bone, was uncovered late last year by UNLV geologist Josh Bonde during a survey of the Upper Las Vegas Wash. They have now confirmed that the bone comes from a dire wolf.

The discovery site is near the proposed Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, a fossil-rich area known for its diversity and abundance of Ice Age animal remains. Scientists estimate the fossil to be 10,000 to 15,000 years old during the Late Pleistocene period.

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