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Still Waters

Hyenas once stalked the Arctic, fossils reveal

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Still Waters

Two fossil teeth found in northwestern Canada confirm that hyenas once lived in the bleak and frigid conditions of the Arctic, possibly hunting and scavenging caribou and mammoth across the steppe-tundra about a million years ago.

Discovered on the banks of the Old Crow River in the 1970s, the newly described fossils are the most northerly evidence for hyenas yet found, researchers report today in the journal Open Quaternary. Until now, the northernmost hyena fossils in North America came from Kansas, about 2,500 miles south of the Yukon Territory finds.



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The domestication of the dog helped counter the hyena threat and allowed h. sapiens to spread farther because we were definitely on their menu. 

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