2021 is already ruined for me.>The extinct giant canids were a remarkable example of convergent evolution>Dire wolves are iconic beasts. Thousands of these extinct Pleistocene carnivores have been recovered from the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. And the massive canids have even received some time in the spotlight thanks to the television series Game of Thrones. But a new study of dire wolf genetics has startled paleontologists: it found that these animals were not wolves at all, but rather the last of a dog lineage that evolved in North America.>Ever since they were first described in the 1850s, dire wolves have captured modern humans’ imagination. Their remains have been found throughout much of the Americas, from Idaho to Bolivia. The La Brea asphalt seeps famously document how prey animals mired in tar lured many of these ice age predators to a sticky death. The dire wolves’ tar-preserved remains reveal an imposing hunter up to six feet long, with skull and jaw adaptations to take down enormous, struggling megafauna. Though these canids had clearly evolved to handle the mastodons, horses, bison and other large herbivores then roaming the Americas, skeletal resemblances between dire wolves and the smaller gray wolves of today suggested a close kinship. It had long been assumed that dire wolves made themselves at home in North America before gray wolves followed them across the Bering Land Bridge from Eurasia. Now some well-preserved DNA seems to be fundamentally changing the story.https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dire-wolves-were-not-really-wolves-new-genetic-clues-reveal/
but this makes them more interesting.
>>3649069pre-indian Europeans/Egyptians brought them over back when the world was young.
>>3649082new information badchildhood stories good
>>3649101This, but unironically.
>>3649101>shitty fake news good>truthful past statements badeat bugs. own nothing. be happy.
>>3649120Prove that it's fake news, Anon. Go on.
>>3649129>it's just an older dog lineage bro>just like maned wolves bro>definitely not a type of superwolf bro>but we know this because genetics eks dee lmao bro>despite never having seen the creature and needing a dozen features from a live animal to actually determine how it should be considered taxonomicallytaxonomy is an utter meme.
>>3649133>casually dismissing genetics>claiming that we need to have features from live specimens to place it taxonomically, despite all previous reconstructions of the dire wolf's lifestyle being based off grey wolves instead of dire wolves themselves, essentially being the same argument against what you're defending
>>3649069>YOU WILL NEVER BE A REAL WOLF!!
>>3649133>needing a dozen features from a live animal to actually determine how it should be considered taxonomicallyNo we don't. You could make accurate cladograms just based off of genetic evidence, we just tend to base them off of physical features because it's easier and cheaper than doing genetic analysis.
>>3649069>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dire_wolf>C. d. guildayi is the most common carnivoran found at La Brea, followed by Smilodon. Remains of dire wolves outnumber remains of gray wolves in the tar pits by a ratio of five to one.>tfw you got bullied by chad mega-carnivores but you end up surviving instead of being stuck in some sticky tar pits like those brainlets.
>>3649140>>casually dismissing genetics>implying we already understand genetics>>claiming that we need to have features from live specimens to place it taxonomically, despite all previous reconstructions of the dire wolf's lifestyle being based off grey wolves instead of dire wolves themselves, essentially being the same argument against what you're defendingI never made the argument that dire wolves are just big wolves. I think they were lone hunters.>>3649150>No we don't. You could make accurate cladograms just based off of genetic evidence, we just tend to base them off of physical features because it's easier and cheaper than doing genetic analysis.>w-we can do that!>w-w-we just ch-choose not to be-because of costs, y-you knowyeah just like building bridges from water because it's much cheaper than concrete!
>>3649172>>implying we already understand geneticsWe understand enough about genetics to infer the relationship between organisms, particularly when their deviation began.>I never made the argument that dire wolves are just big wolves. I think they were lone hunters.You made the argument that we have to observe a living thing in order to place it taxonomically, instead of inferring its relationship based on other evidence. Yet paleontologists for decades have reconstructed the dire wolf based on the gray wolf. If there is now considerable doubt that it is a wolf species/gray wolf subspecies and may be more distantly related, then we cannot infer its attributes in life based on the gray wolf, at least not without solid evidence that it was very similar. It is one thing entirely if it has a more recent commonly shared heritage with wolves. But if there is evidence that the last common ancestor of gray wolves and dire wolves existed 5.7 million years ago, and if both species evolved on different continents, then we can't directly equate gray wolf attributes to dire wolf attributes. And even if we could prove at least some traits between the two were similar via convergent evolution, it must still mean that on some level, there is a significant difference between the two.
>>3649069Wolffags on suicide watch. Mogged by cats at every turn. How will they recover..
>>3649133Literal retard right here.
>>3649200At least dogs are better pets
>>3649182But there actually doesn't have to be a single difference between these two animals though. Both lived in the same general climate conditions and both hunted large animals. Even if they were more closely related, consider then the manner in which foxhounds hunt. Foxhounds are much more related to wolves but hunt in a completely different way, so much so, and so specialised so, that if you did not know better you'd assume them to distantly connected species. Not the one being a subspecies of the other. The genetic similarity is not an argument towards those animals having the same mannerisms or patterns of behaviour. So why was this argument made in the first place if it is so easily proven false considering two directly related subspecies?Grey wolves and dire wolves are considered to have been alike species not due to a genetic connection (in which sense 6M years is a relatively short period), but due to their similarities in food chain position and target prey and climate. They very probably behaved like wolves in many ways, much more so than what your genetic determination would conclude, because it's inherently a faulty method of determining behavioural patterns. >We understand enough about genetics to infer the relationship between organisms, particularly when their deviation began.We merely understand when they split into two different populations, we do not know at all how this has impacted their behavioural qualities or their lifestyle, or their phenotype. At all.Genetics for use in taxonomy is a meme because of this. Taxonomy is meant to group animals not merely by genetic descent (which I accede is fundamental to taxonomy itself) but also by behavioural patterns about which genetics can barely say anything. Despite their split over 6M years ago, Dire wolves and grey wolves continued to behave in simular patterns and this ought to be accounted for in the taxonomy. They're putting direwolves at the same distance as maned wolves, which is wrong.
>>3649101and imagine that there's a whle political ideology. called conservativism, based on that feeling.
>>3649481imagine that an entire ideology is based entirely on feelings instead of just a feeling of childhood stories, called liberalism.
>>3649082It really does. The fact that they're so wolf-like despite not actually being wolves is pretty insane.
>>3649481Imagine that ideology taking permanent residence in your brain, causing you to bitterly yet smugly bring it up at wherever possible much to the disappointment of all those around you
Why is this some point of contention? They are still canids, who cares if they aren’t in the wolf genus?
>>3649485Imagine that ideology smugly thinks it is smarter than everyone past and present without any evidence and insists on directing every aspect of your behavior.
>>3649496because op thinks that since they're no longer 'big wolves' they're just doggos as if they were a big ass chihuahua.
>>3649154Same story with grizzly bears. In the ice age they kept getting pushed around by fuckhuge short-faced bears, only to outlive them in the end.
>>3649069>"The new findings also add layers to experts’ ruminations on why dire wolves eventually disappeared as the last ice age closed. These predators became specialized in hunting camels, horses, bison and other herbivores in North America over millions of years. As those prey sources disappeared, so did the dire wolves. 'In contrast to gray wolves, which are a model for adaptation,' Perri says, 'dire wolves appear to be much less flexible to deal with changing environments and prey.'">Dire wolves were to gray wolves what Neanderthals were to Homo SapiensCrazy