One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large extinct wolf of the Pleistocene epoch, which preyed on large mammals.
Canis dirus, family Canidae
- ‘Against the blue of a mountain range - the same profile of peaks I could see from Grandview - were vultures, mammoths, dire wolves, La Brea camels, saber-toothed cats, and giant ground sloths.’
- ‘The figures at the top left and bottom right are dire wolves, extinct relatives of wolves and dogs.’
- ‘It is likely that the bone-modifying behaviors of dire wolves were intermediate between those of extant wolves and spotted hyenas.’
- ‘Among this group, the extinct dire wolf (a giant relative of living wolves) claimed the most powerful bite force relative to its size.’
- ‘In the Pleistocene, gray wolves shared the region with C. dirus, the dire wolf.’
Dire in the sense ‘threatening’, translating the modern Latin taxonomic name.
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