To tie in with this month’s Keepers’ Corner ‘science’ theme I have chosen three ancient wolf teeth from our collection.
These will form part of a research project by scientists looking to develop conservation plans for modern-day wolf populations. The teeth are from our Marsworth Ice Age mammal collection – 1,600 fossils excavated from what is now College Lake Nature Reserve. By examining microscopic scratches on the teeth, scientists will be able to tell what food the wolves were eating. This, combined with isotope analysis on Ice Age mammal bones will help scientists understand how wolves have repeatedly adapted their form and behaviour in response to the constantly changing environmental and ecological conditions over the last 250,000 years. This, in turn, will help predict how modern-day wolf populations may cope with the environmental changes we are experiencing today and thus help inform future wolf conservation efforts. Highlights from the Marsworth Ice Age mammal collection are on display at the museum.
~Natural History Keeper