Yep. This was an April Fools’ prank.
That’s okay. I had one pulled on me last night at the cabin where we were fishing. About 10 o’clock last night, my dad shouts “Oh my God! There is a bear in the trash!”
By the time everyone had rushed to the windows to see– and I had just been roused from slumber– it was soon revealed there was no bear.
Yes, and just as there was no bear, all that was in the post about the dire wolf’s genome being closely allied to black-backed jackals is utter nonsense.
But I have always imagined that this was a possibility, because I think our assumption that dire wolves were very closely related to modern wolves really hasn’t been tested out empirically. We have some phylogenetic trees drawn from paleontological analysis, but one must be very careful of these studies. Parallel evolution is a very common occurrence in canids, and I’ve come to the conclusion that everything one reads about paleontology and canids needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
So yes, it’s an April Fool, but it is a definite possibility.
Oh, and please don’t hate on my dodgy “photoshop.”