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Australian DNA detectives reveal secrets of Game of Thrones dire wolves

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Massive dire wolves prowl through the icy north of Westeros, in George R.R. Martin’s epic Game of Thrones. The near mythical creatures are the Stark family sigil in the epic saga, with five orphaned pups becoming deeply bonded with Ned Stark’s five children.

It’s the stuff of legends – but hundreds of thousands of years before becoming a pop culture icon, dire wolves were formidable ice age predators. Twice the size of a German shepherd, with teeth specialised for tearing meat, they hunted bison, horses and harnessed enough pack power to bring down a gigantic mastodon. For hundreds of thousands of years they prowled the land mass between Bolivia and Canada as a dominant species until around 13,000 years ago when they became…



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