Back in 1970, a team of researchers discovered some teeth in Yukon, who belongs to one million years ago hyenas. All these findings are now in the scientific journal Open Quaternary. But the discovery is shedding light on the evolution of the hyenas. The two teeth were discovered during a paleontological expedition in Yukon. After 50 years from the findings, the scientists have tried to find out who they belong and what they were.
The New Findings
The scientists worked with the scientists to find the treasures from the region, and they have collected more than 50.000 specimens, and only the two teeth are belonging to hyenas. Grant Zazula, who works as a paleontologist for the Yukon government, saw the teeth displayed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Because the other scientists have only theorized that the teeth belong to hyenas, Mr. Zazula teamed up with Jack Tseng, who works as an evolutionary biologist and is a specialist in hyenas at the University of Buffalo, and with Lars Werdelin from the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
After the team worked together, Tseng and his abilities determined the age of the fossils, which are between 850.000 and 1.4 million years old. Even if we all know that the modern hyenas are living in Africa, there are other fossils found from the North as Mongolia and far West as Mexico. That means that we have a gap of 6.000 kilometers. But with the help of these fossils, they could confirm that the animals arrived in North America from Russia on the Bering Strait.
Finally, the team found out that the ancient hyenas were living a different life than the ones from today. These findings of the fossilized teeth are showing that our image of the hyenas living in savannas is so different from the reality that was one million years ago when hyenas were living in snow and with a 24 hour of darkness in the winter.