The Dire Wolf, Canis dirus, is an extinct carnivorous mammal of the genus Canis, and was most common in North America and South America from the Irvingtonian stage to the Rancholabrean stage of the Pleistocene epoch living 1.80 Ma - 10,000 years ago.
Although it was closely related to the Gray Wolf and other sister species, Canis dirus was not the direct ancestor of any species known today. Despite superficial similarities to the Gray Wolf, there were significant differences between the two species. The legs of the Dire Wolf were proportionally shorter and sturdier than those of the Gray Wolf, and its brain case was smaller than that of a similarly sized gray wolf.
The Dire Wolf was larger than the Gray Wolf, averaging about 5 feet (1.5 meters) in length and weighing between 110-174 pounds (50-79 kg).
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