Just south of the Montana State line, in the lower Big Horn Basin, sits Natural Trap Cave: a large circular hole in the ground with a 30-foot vertical drop to a cavern below. You can’t see it until you are nearly upon it. Today it is covered by a metal grate, but for thousands of years unsuspecting animals fell into it and died. Archaeological excavations have produced a trove of skeletal remains of ancient Pleistocene mammals, including mammoths, camels, horses, enormous short-faced bears, American cheetahs and the Beringian wolf.

Beringian wolves, now extinct, once inhabited Beringia and Alaska, which were connected by a land bridge during the last glacial maximum. They were a bit larger and more robust than the gray wolf, and a bit less so than the dire wolf living south of the ice sheets. But Wyoming is a long way from Alaska, let alone Beringia, so how would a Beringian wolf fall into Natural Trap Cave?

via Yellowstone to Uintas Connection – CounterPunch.org

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