A western Iowa hospital recently had to deal with one of the strangest patients they had ever seen, one that came to them in a cardboard box.
A piece of the skull from a dire wolf was brought to Cherokee Regional Medical Center for a CT scan Friday.
What’s a dire wolf? Ask its handler from the Sanford Museum. “Compared to a modern day gray wolf, they’re close in size. But very robust, very heavy duty built. They’re chasing down big Ice Age animals,” said Archaeologist Jason Titcomb.
The Iowa find is thought to be well over 10,000 years old.
After the CT a small sample will be sliced off for carbon dating.
“It’s going to do very minimal damage, but by doing the CT scan, we’ve got an overall picture and that picture we’ll have forever. Even if something tragic would happen, we still have that data,” said Titcomb.
A CT works by having detectors scan a specimen and then turn it into cross sectional images.
“We’ll get to look at things like brain morphology and those sorts of things, that no one has had the chance to do yet,” said Titcomb.
The Sanford Museum’s dire wolf specimen is the only one known to be discovered in Iowa. Officials say carbon dating could take a few months.
Thanks to our sister station KTIV for this story.