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During the last ice age, bone-crushing hyenas stalked the snowy Canadian Arctic, likely satisfying their meat cravings by hunting herds of caribou and horses, while also scavenging mammoth carcasses on the tundra, a new study finds.
The big finding — that ancient hyenas lived in the North American Arctic — is based on two tiny teeth, which archaeologists found in Canada's northern Yukon Territory.
Sphinx - Ramses - II - Hoverboards - Philadelphia
Massive Egyptian Sphinx of Ramses II was moved on "hoverboards" at Philadelphia's Penn Museum.
In other words, Chasmaporthetes was able to adapt to all kinds of environments, study lead researcher Jack Tseng, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Buffalo in New York, told Live Science.
Archaeologists - Fossil - Teeth - Hotspot - Old
Archaeologists originally found the two fossil teeth in the 1970s, in a fossil hotspot known as Old Crow Basin. But nobody ever published studies on the teeth, which languished for decades in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottowa, Ontario.
In the 1970s, researchers found the two ancient hyenas teeth in the Old Crow River region (known as Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation) in Canada's Yukon Territory.
Tseng - Teeth - Word - Mouth - Intrigued
Tseng learned about the teeth only through word of mouth. Intrigued, he hopped in his car and drove the 6 hours from Buffalo to Ottawa in February, the dead of winter. The teeth, a molar and premolar, were so distinct, that "within the first 5 minutes, I was pretty sure this was Chasmaporthetes," he told Live Science.
When most people think of hyenas, they picture the carnivores roaming Africa today. But hyenas actually arose in Europe or Asia about 20 million years ago. Only later did hyenas make their way into Africa, and an even smaller number trekked across the Bering Strait land bridge to North America, at least according to the preexisting fossil record.
Teeth - Date - Bend
The teeth are challenging to date because they were found in the inner bend...
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