Canis dirus, also called direwolf, is a canid that inhabited North America during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 10,000 years ago. You've probably already heard the name of this species in the famous "Game of Thrones" series. And yet, this wolf species is real, or at least was real. Today we reveal all the secrets of this large and powerful beast!🐺
HOW BIG IS A DIREWOLF?
Canis dirus was larger and taller than the gray wolf, measuring about 7ft long and weighing about 176 lbs (80 kg).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WOLF AND A DIREWOLF?
The canis dirus, whose average weight is estimated at 176 lbs (80 kg), 40% more than the larger subspecies of grey wolves, had a more massive silhouette than the canis lupus due to its much heavier skeletal structure and greater muscle mass.
The main difference between the two species was in the skeletal structure, which was more massive and heavier in Canis dirus. Its legs were proportionally shorter, its head larger and heavier, but the cranial capacity was less. Its teeth, larger and stronger than those of the grey wolf, were able to crush bones.
The second major difference lies in their environment. The wolf (canis lupus) is an animal of cold, the canis dirus was a large canid of warm climates: the dirus probably evolved in South America before migrating to the north of the continent.
WHAT DID THE DIREWOLF EAT?
Such characteristics suggest that it was not a good runner and that it fed on slow, large animals, or weak prey and carrion, much like today's hyenas, but also like other predators that lived in its time, saber-toothed felines such as the smilodon, which also had evolutionary adaptations for hunting large animals.🦌
IS THE DIRE WOLF EXTINCT?
The dire wolf became extinct between 4,000 and 16,000 years ago. It is believed that this is due to its inability to rival the speed and intelligence of the grey wolf. It was the largest canine.
Although resembling the gray wolf, the grim wolf was sturdier, heavier, with shorter, more powerful legs and a larger head. Although its head was larger than the gray wolf, its brain was smaller. His luck was his large size, which limited competition.
A fossilized bone was discovered near the Ohio River in Indiana in 1854.🦴 But it wasn't until years later that the bone was identified as that of a wolf. It was identified as Canis Dirus.
The first fossil remains of Canis dirus were discovered by Francis Lick on the banks of the Ohio River in 1854, but more than 3,600 specimens have been discovered floating in California after heavy rains brought them to the surface. When the animals tried to drink from the pools of water, they were often trapped, and the wolf and other predators trying to catch their prey often found themselves trapped. Fossils of timber wolves have been found in northern South and Central America.
WHAT CAUSED THE EXTINCTION OF THE DIRE WOLF?
Canis dirus probably evolved in South America and appears in the fossil record of North America about 100,000 years ago. It quickly became a super-predator but began to decline 16,000 years ago, coinciding with the arrival of the first humans on the American continent through the Bering Strait.
The causes of its extinction are not clearly established, but it is assumed that they must be related to man's impact on North America's megafauna, as well as climate change following the last ice age.
As its traditional prey, such as Megatherium, gradually disappeared, Canis dirus was reduced to a predominantly scavenging diet and became extinct 10,000 years ago. On the contrary, the gray wolf, which fed on smaller, faster animals that survived the arrival of man, did not suffer from the impact and has survived to the present day.
The dire wolf, also called Canis Dirus, is a canid that inhabited North America during the Pleistocene and became extinct about 10,000 years ago. This is an impressive and powerful species of wolf, much more imposing than the current species of gray wolf. Although this beast has not survived through ages, its name continues to live on thanks to the fossils found and the wolves in Games of Thrones TV show, which are an emblem of the series.