Dire Wolf Facts!

Dire Wolf Facts!

Canis dirus - dire wolf
Reconstruction of Canis dirus with two possible aspects according to its probable geographic origin: South-American or North American. Because there is some evidence to suggest that the Dire Wolf may have arisen from the northern Canis ambrusteri or a South American canid. Image credit: Sergiodlarosa cc3.0

The dire wolf was a carnivorous mammal very similar to the modern gray wolf, with a few differences. The teeth of the dire wolf were larger than those of the gray wolf. The dire wolf was also heavier, with a broader, more robust skull. The average length of the dire wolf was about 5 feet (1.5 meters), and it weighed between 130 and 150 pounds (59 and 68 kilograms), about 25% heavier than the modern gray wolf. It was the largest species ever in the genus Canis.

 

Irish_Elk_pursued_by_Dire_Wolves_painting
BIG DOGS: Irish Elk pursued by Dire Wolves (painting by Znedek Burian). Image credit: guano cc2.0

However, despite their large bodies, they had relatively short legs, which meant that they probably weren’t as fast as their leaner counterparts. The reason for the extinction of the dire wolf may have been the loss of their favorite prey species: megafauna like horses, mastodons and bison. But then when these megafauna died out at the end of the last ice age, the dire wolf had to hunt smaller, faster prey. This also meant that they had to hunt more often to get enough sustenance. Their faster competition, like the gray wolf and the great cats, were the ones to survive.

The dire wolf is also listed in:
Top 10 Most Amazing Extinct Animals !
The dire wolf is featured in the following book:
25 Extinct Animals… since the Birth of Mankind!




The YouTube video below is a collection of videos about the Dire wolf. The list of videos featured is underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Amy’s Animal Facts: The Dire Wolf
  2. Dire Wolf Diet
  3. Smilodon Vs dire wolf Vs Arctodus

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