A man walking on the banks of the river Tirekhtyakh, close to the Arctic Circle in Siberia, made a grisly discovery last summer - a severed wolf’s head.

Analysis at the Science Academy of Yakutia, with input from colleagues in Sweden and Japan, has determined that the wolf died 40,000 years ago.

Thanks to the freezing conditions in the region where Yakutia resident Pavel Yefimov found the head, it is very well preserved, with teeth, fur, facial tissue and even the wolf’s brain largely intact.

Visibly larger than that of a modern wolf, the head is missing its eyes.

The next step in the wolf's journey is to undergo a procedure called plastination: a technique of replacing water and fat with plastics.

That prevents decay and preserves tissue for scientific purposes.

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