Friday, March 09, 2007

Does the Japanese wolf survive?

Loren Coleman and company at Cryptomundo have collected some new data on an intriguing mystery: when did the Japanese wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) go extinct - if at all?
The subcompact canid is usually listed as extinct as of 1905. However, a photograph has been published showing a specimen killed in 1910. This specimen, though, was later destroyed in a fire, leaving the mounted 1905 specimen (now in the British Museum) as the species' last representative.
COMMENT: As I described in Shadows of Existence (Hancock House, 2006), it's not at all certain the species was extinct before World War One or even World War Two. There's a slim chance it survives even today.

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