Extinct Canines Thread

Discuss other canids (dogs, coyotes, foxes, dholes, etc.).

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Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:39 pm

This thread is meant to discuss extinct canines of all varities. From the massive Dire Wolf, Canis dirus; to the forebearer of the canines, Prohesperocyon; and everything inbetween. You can also ask questions on extinct canines, their enviroment, and their evolution here; and the other users and I will do our best at answering your question.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:02 am

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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:41 am

Odd fact, Dire Wolves are, by genetic terms, a giant species of coyote. Both arose from canines living in South America and are technically sister species.

www.searchingwolf.com/wevolve.htm
However, the dire wolf having arose from small South American wolves is not an ancestor of the gray wolf. American wolves are more closely related to the modern day coyote than to the gray wolf.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:15 am

Well, the dire wolf is not an ancestor of the gray wolf; these two species lived around the same time, so they're separate. In the end it was the gray wolf that outrun the dire wolf and this led to the increase of population in gray wolves and then the extinction of the dire wolf.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:24 am

Blightwolf wrote:Well, the dire wolf is not an ancestor of the gray wolf; these two species lived around the same time, so they're separate. In the end it was the gray wolf that outrun the dire wolf and this led to the increase of population in gray wolves and then the extinction of the dire wolf.
Yah, its a fact I see people get wrong often. Even discovery channel has said quote
"The Gray wolf has a giant ancestor before the ICe age called the Dire Wolf"
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:43 am

I thought the dire wolf was the modern wolf's ancestor, too, until I did my research and found out more about it. ;)

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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sat Apr 17, 2010 2:47 pm

Blightwolf wrote:I thought the dire wolf was the modern wolf's ancestor, too, until I did my research and found out more about it. ;)

Research pays off.
Yep, it sure does. Dire Wolves share aprox. 80-92% of the same genes with the modern Gray Wolf. However theire closest match is Southern Coyote at 94-96%.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:28 am

That is very interesting... does that lead to the possibility that the dire wolf in fact was an early ancestor of the coyote, then? If their genetic match is that close, there might be a chance they at least have evolved from the same source.

What species came "first", coyotes or wolves? Or did they evolve around the same time much like dire wolves and gray wolves?
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:44 am

Blightwolf wrote:That is very interesting... does that lead to the possibility that the dire wolf in fact was an early ancestor of the coyote, then? If their genetic match is that close, there might be a chance they at least have evolved from the same source.

What species came "first", coyotes or wolves? Or did they evolve around the same time much like dire wolves and gray wolves?
Well they didn't evolve at the same place, but whether they evolved at the same time is a matter of debate. You see, many paleontologists debate on when the split on the dire/ coyote family tree occurred. The oldest gray wolf fossils are from central Asia and are dated to be aprox. 1.5 million years old. The earliest coyote and dire wolf fossils are from Central and South America and are dated to be 1.8 - 2.1 million years old. So yes, the coyote family did come first. However, this doesn't mean they are more primitive. In those past 1.8 - 2.1 million years, there’s one thing that was changing in the coyotes and in the dire wolves. Their brain size was increasing. At the time of the demise of the last relic population of Dire Wolves (6,000-7,000 years ago), the dire wolves already had proportionally large brains then the gray wolves. And even today coyotes actually out-perform the gray wolf in most intelligence categories, such as memory, and concentration.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:47 am

Fascinating information... could you provide some links where I could study more about this subject? I'd love to do some individual research and absorb as much info as I can, I am very intrigued by extinct canine history.

Thanks again for sharing all that wonderful and useful info, it's incredibly educational.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:53 am

Blightwolf wrote:Fascinating information... could you provide some links where I could study more about this subject? I'd love to do some individual research and absorb as much info as I can, I am very intrigued by extinct canine history.

Thanks again for sharing all that wonderful and useful info, it's incredibly educational.

Done
Gray Wolves
http://www.macalester.edu/~montgomery/G ... Extra.html
(the site got a few things wrong with the canine the family tree, but scroll down to the evolution portion)

Coyote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote (see first paragraph at the top, the site they give a link to is having problems at the momment)

Dire Wolf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dire_Wolf (first paragraph)
Last edited by Crocotto on Fri May 07, 2010 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:55 am

Thank you, Croc, I will most definitely do some research right now and perhaps when I am a bit more enlightened about this subject we (and others, of course) can have a thorough discussion about the canine evolution.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:03 am

Blightwolf wrote:Thank you, Croc, I will most definitely do some research right now and perhaps when I am a bit more enlightened about this subject we (and others, of course) can have a thorough discussion about the canine evolution.
Thank you, and there is something the wolf site DID get right on the family trees. When it shows a FT of the cani-forms (dog-like carnivores) it accuratly shows the Bears (Ursidae) are the closest living relatives of the canines. New evidence is actually shwoing the two are even closer then even that FT shows.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:18 am

The relationship of canids relative to the other members of Caniformia is basal. This means that arctoids are more closely related to each other than to canids and that the common ancestor to all arctoids (bears, raccoons, seals, etc.) evolved from a dog-like ancestor.
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Re: Extinct Canines Thread

Post by Crocotto » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:07 am

Blightwolf wrote:
The relationship of canids relative to the other members of Caniformia is basal. This means that arctoids are more closely related to each other than to canids and that the common ancestor to all arctoids (bears, raccoons, seals, etc.) evolved from a dog-like ancestor.

Taken from "Caniformia: Bears, Wolves, and Weasels"
The ancestor bears, canines, and weasels branched off the main branch of the Caniformia approximately 40-45 millions years ago. The weasels branched off from this group at about 38 million years and some modern members of the Mustelidae still retain a similar build to their ancestors. The ancestors of the bears and canines parted way about 3 million years later. The canines adopted a slimmer, lighter build that was well suited for running long distances at high speed. The bears retained their ability to climb trees and some evolved a partially herbivorous diet.
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