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Aenocyon dirus

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Aenocyon dirus
Aenocyon dirus, commonly known as the dire wolf, was an imposing species of wolf that roamed North America to Argentina during the Pleistocene, from approximately 1.8 million years ago to around 10,000 years ago. This giant canid stood out for its size, being one of the largest wolves known from the Pleistocene era.

With a stocky build and strong limbs, Aenocyon dirus was adapted for hunting in the harsh environments of the late Ice Age. Although its name suggests the presence of saber teeth, these were not as developed as those of felines of the same era, such as the famous Smilodon. However, the canines of Aenocyon dirus were noticeably large and robust compared to modern wolves, indicating an adaptation to hunting large prey.

It is believed that it had a carnivorous diet, hunting large mammals such as bison and horses. Its role as a key predator in Pleistocene ecosystems helped shape the dynamics of the megafauna of that time.

The extinction of Aenocyon dirus, like that of many other species of Pleistocene megafauna, continues to be a topic of research and debate. Climate changes, alterations in resource availability and interaction with the first human settlers are considered possible factors that contributed to its disappearance.

This giant wolf, with its imposing presence and adaptations for hunting large prey, is an integral part of the fascinating story of life in prehistoric North America.

Approximate measurements of the Aenocyon:
  • Scale 1:35
    • Length 55mm
    • Height 29mm
    • Snout-base tail length 50 mm

  • Scale 1:20
    • Length 95mm
    • Height 50mm
    • Snout-base tail length 87 mm