As gold miners worked at two separate mines in the Yukon in northwest Canada in summer 2016, the two sets of workers both came across extraordinary finds from the ice age. You see, around 50,000 years ago, a rich variety of wildlife made this remote region their home. And now the gold miners’ incredible discoveries would reveal new information about some of these prehistoric animals.
Today the Yukon, which was established in 1898, is one of the three Canadian territories to the north of the country; the other two are Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Back in the ice age, however, most of Canada was covered by ice that was miles deep, meaning wildlife was scarce or nonexistent. Therefore, the country was effectively a frozen desert.
Nevertheless, things were different in the land that we now call the Yukon. Somehow, the region escaped the extreme glaciation that covered the rest of Canada in unimaginably thick ice. And this meant that it provided a habitat in which a wide variety of wild animals could thrive.