Dire wolves appear in the TV series "Game of Thrones" as fictional characters, but before that, they have already aroused people's imagination. According to research, a dire wolf weighs about 68 kilograms and is larger than a gray wolf. In the Ice Age, they lived in most Americas and fed on extinct giant animals such as horses and ground sloths.
"From a morphological point of view, dire wolves are very similar to gray wolves, but from a genetic point of view, they are not closely related," said Angela Perri, an archaeologist and research co-author at Durham University. The results of the study were published in Nature.
The dire wolf is a mysterious carnivore known for its huge body, special molars that can crush bones, and its habit of preying on large herbivores. Once upon a time, many magical animals were roaming the Americas, and the dire wolf was one of them. These animals eventually disappeared in the Americas because they could not adapt to the changes in the world.
Dire Wolf Size Guide
Real dire wolves existed in our world, too, up until they went extinct around 10,000 years ago. While we know they are much bigger than their modern domesticated family members, it can be hard to determine how big they were, which is why we created this dire wolf size comparison guide below.
Dire wolves lived when most things seemed to be supersized, from woolly mammoths to sabertooth tigers. We can know that dire wolves were almost 25 percent larger than today's wolves. Every year, paleontologists discover thousands of dire wolf skeletons. Each one reveals the characteristics of the dire wolf's appearance. Those complete and well-preserved bones can tell us the dire wolf's size, weight, and overall shape. However, they cannot determine the typical coat color or eye color, and they can only speculate on these.
- Their average weights are range from 130 pounds to 150 pounds.
- The largest dire wolf fossils were found in Florida in the Aucilla River region in the north, and it is estimated that they could reach weights up to 200 pounds.
- The average length from its nose to tail was around 5 feet to 6 feet. This is the average height for a 14-year-old boy in the United States.
- Their average shoulder height, which measured from the ground to their shoulders, was around 27 to 38 inches.
|130-150 lbs / 60-70 kg||27-38" / 69-97cm||5 feet to 6 feet / 153-183 cm|
Dire Wolf v. Wolf Size Comparison
Full-size dire wolves are about 25 percent bigger than the average grey wolf. Grey wolves, known for their lean frames, usually don't grow much bigger than 145 pounds, smaller than the A. dirus, the subspecies of the dire wolf. The largest wolf ever recorded weighed 175 pounds and was a Mackenzie Valley wolf, and it is the largest subspecies of the grey wolf.
Other Interesting Facts About Dire Wolf
- The difference in size between male and female dire wolf bone and teeth structure was minimal with little dimorphism. This leads researchers to believe that the Dire Wolf pack was monogamous in structure, with one male mating with one female.
- The Dire Wolf's rear teeth were adapted for tearing, not chewing. This suggests that the Dire Wolf did not chew their meal but tore off large chunks of flesh, swallowing it whole.
- Dire Wolves may have hunted in packs of 30 or more. This is sometimes seen in Gray wolves today, but it is much rarer.
- The physical characteristics of the dire wolves determine that they are inferior to wolves in terms of speed and endurance, but they have terrible bites and a more muscular body.
The extinction of the dire wolves has not yet been accurately stated. It may be related to climate change, species competition, and the hunting of prehistoric humans. About 16,000 years ago, it happened to be the end of the ice age, and when humans arrived in North America, most of the large mammals also began to disappear at this time.