Baryshnikov G.F., Mol D., Tikhonov A.N. 2010. Finding of the Late Pleistocene carnivores in Taimyr Peninsula (Russia, Siberia) with paleoecological context // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.8 (for 2009). No.2: 107–113 [in English].
Gennady F. Baryshnikov [G_Baryshnikov@mail.ru], Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia;
Dick Mol [email@example.com], Museum of Natural History, Westzeedijk 345, Rotterdam 3015AA, The Netherlands;
Alexei N. Tikhonov [firstname.lastname@example.org], Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia.
KEY WORDS: Carnivora, Pleistocene, Siberia, paleoecology.
ABSTRACT. The fossil bone remains of wolf (Canis lupus) and brown bear (Ursus arctos) from the permafrost of the Taimyr Peninsula have been examined. By the dimensions of the skull, the Late Pleistocene C. lupus resembles recent wolves of the Eurasian tundra, but exceeds them in the zygomatic width and length of the tooth row as well as possesses wider premolars. These peculiarities of the cranial and dental morphology suggest the Late Pleistocene wolves from north Siberia to consume more carrion than the recent wolves. Fossil remains of U. arctos were found far to north of the modern limits of brown bear distributional range in Taimyr. The robust size provides the possibility to presume that the Late Pleistocene brown bears ate a lot of animal proteins. The abundance of the representatives of the megafauna (mammoth, rhino, bison, musk-ox, etc.) in the arctic zone of Siberia as well as the absence of specialized mammal scavengers (hyenas) led the wolf and brown bears to be, most probably, among the main consumers of the large carcasses.