Is it possible to be too friendly to live? Well, in the case of the Falkland Islands Wolf – aka its “SCIENCE!” name Dusicyon australis, or “Friendly Wolf?” Yes. The prevailing theory about how these poor bastards achieved extinct status is because they were TOO friendly. The last one of these wolves supposedly died in 1876. Naturalist Charles Darwin considered them an evolutionary curiosity – and he wondered aloud – “Where all the other mammals at?” I am paraphrasing what Darwin actually said, of course, but the Falkland Islands wolf was the ONLY mammal there, and their main diet was penguins. Those of you who really love penguins, might want to stop reading here (trigger warning).
Per National Geographic, some scientists believe South Americans must have partly domesticated the wolf and brought it over on their boats – hence its unfortunate tameness. As most of you already know, no good deed goes unpunished, and the same was true with this “friendly wolf,” which was sometimes also called the “foolish wolf.” Others said that the wolf came to the Falklands via land bridges, or by hitching a ride on a huge chunk of ice. Does this remind any of you of “Titanic?” Recently, scientists managed to snag a precious booger from the sinuses of one of these wolves, which contained DNA. (Homer drooling…mmmm…DNA).
OK, so it wasn’t REALLY a booger, but it was a piece of nerve and blood vessel – just 3 millimeters long and 1 millimeter wide. From this sample, they determined that the Falkland Wolf’s closest living relative is the maned wolf. This intrepid booger-mining scientist also compared the Falkland Islands wolf’s DNA to one of its exctinct relatives, the Duscyon avus, which lived on South America’s mainland. The two specials of “foolish wolves” evolved from a common ancestor more than 16,000 years ago. And the wolves, in theory, lived a happy life until humans came along. They ate all the penguins they could stomach, occasionally made sweet wolf love, and had what could only be described as the most adorable puppies ever (in unison…AWWWWW).
Falkland Island Wolf pups might’ve looked like this (AWWWWW!).
Maybe when they weren’t making sweet wolf love or feasting on penguins, they just enjoyed lying happily in the sun after eating penguins. Who wouldn’t want this life? Eating penguins…making sweet wolf love, filming viral wolf pup videos to post on YouTube channels. We’ll leave you alone a minute while you descend into this little daydream. And then a human comes along. Most likely, a boat load of them.
Oh boy! The wolves, seeing the humans getting off their ships, start running toward the shore, tails wagging, their tongues likely lolling nearly out of their heads with excitement. WALKIES! They’re going to take us for WALKIES! And maybe they have chew toys for me! What’s this? This nice person is dangling a hunk of meat in front of my face, they MUST love me! And them BAM. They get bashed in the f—ing head. Were they killed to make awesome pimp coats out of their fur? Nope. Were they killed because they were delicious? Nope. Were they killed because the stupid humans – and we’re giving them the serious benefit of the doubt here – mistook their friendliness for menace? Possibly. The prevailing theory is that it was somehow fun to kill these things (to each their own). My theory is that people are “bastard-covered bastards with bastard filling.” Amen. I’ll leave it at that. RIP, the Falkland Islands wolf! To read more, click here http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/…/the-origin-of-th…/