Ice Age Wolf Skull Fragment Brought to Iowa Hospital

April 17, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Ice age wolf skull: A hospital in western Iowa said a piece of a purported 10,000-year-old dire wolf skull was brought to their facility recently..

WHO-TV reported that a piece of the skull was sent to the Cherokee Regional Medical Center for a CT scan on Friday

“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,” Archaeologist Jason Titcomb told the station, elaborating on the size of a dire wolf.

The find in Iowa is believed to be more than 12,000 years old.

“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,” Titcomb said.

Titcomb told KCAU-TV that the skull was found in a quarry site that was used in the 1950s.

“The data can be used by researchers to look at brain morphology, pathologies, and to have a very detailed basically picture or map of the skull itself,” he told KCAU in explaining why a CT scan should be carried out.

The dire wolf averaged around 5 feet in length and weighed between 100 pounds and 175 pounds, meaning that the largest gray wolf of today would be comparable to an average-sized dire wolf, according to the Illinois State Museum. The teeth of the dire wolf were also a lot larger than the average gray wolf, the museum notes.

The first dire wolf specimen was found near Evansville, Ind.