dire wolf

dire wolf
an extinct wolf, Canis dirus, widespread in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch, having a larger body and a smaller brain than the modern wolf.
[1920-25; from the NL specific epithet dirus inspiring dread; cf. DIRE]

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Extinct wolf (Canis dirus) that existed during the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million–10,000 years ago), probably the most common mammalian species found preserved in the La Brea Tar Pits.

It differed from the modern wolf in being larger and having a more massive skull, a smaller brain (and probably less intelligence), and relatively light limbs. The species was considerably widespread; skeletal remains have been found in Florida and the Mississippi valley in the U.S., as well as in the Valley of Mexico.

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▪ extinct mammal
      (species Canis dirus), wolf that existed during the Pleistocene Epoch (1,600,000 to 10,000 years ago). It is probably the most common mammalian species to be found preserved in the La Brea Tar Pits in southern California. The dire wolf differed from the modern wolf in several ways: it was larger and it had a more massive skull, a smaller brain, and relatively light limbs. The species was considerably widespread, and skeletal remains have been found in Florida, the Mississippi Valley, and the Valley of Mexico.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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