The dire wolf was probably the heaviest canine ever to have existed. It earned its 'dire' tag from comparisons with the modern grey wolf. A much heftier beast with larger teeth, its powerful build and short legs indicate it might have been more of an ambush hunter and less of a long-distance runner than modern wolves. Despite being heavier, the dire wolf had a smaller brain than the grey wolf. Dire wolves were native to the Americas and thousands of their skeletons have been found in the La Brea tar pits. They became extinct between 16,000 and 10,000 years ago in different areas of the Americas.
Scientific name: Canis dirus
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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.