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South Atlantic mystery: The Falkland Islands wolf

Published on Mar 6, 2013 6:19 AM

PARIS (AFP) - It was an animal that puzzled Charles Darwin, who wondered how on Earth a large mammal that looked a bit like a wolf and a bit like a fox had arrived on barren islands nearly 500km from the mainland.

Now, say biologists, the mystery of the now-extinct Falkland Islands wolf may have been resolved.

First spotted by Europeans in the 17th century, the wolf is - was - the Falklands' only native terrestrial mammal, tucking in to penguins and other small prey for its food.

Since Darwin's musings in 1834, theories have proliferated to explain how the brown-furred carnivore ended up in such a remote place. Was it brought there by Man? Had it floated over on an ice raft?

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