Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Canis edwardii

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Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Carnivora
Genus  Canis
Higher classification  Canis
Phylum  Chordata
Family  Canidae
Scientific name  Canis edwardii
Rank  Species
Canis edwardii wwwcosmosmithcomimagescanisedwardiiskull2jpg
Similar  Armbruster's wolf, Canis lepophagus, Canis, Canis cedazoensis, Eucyon

Canis edwardii (Edward's wolf) is an extinct species of genus Canis which was endemic to most of North America from the Late Blancan stage of the Pliocene epoch through to the Irvingtonian stage of the Pleistocene epoch, living 2.3 Mya—300,000 years ago, existing for approximately 2 million years.


It was contemporaneous with the dire wolf (125,000—9,440 years ago), Canis lepophagus (10.3—1.8 Ma), Armbruster's wolf (1.8 Mya—300,000 years ago), Canis rufus (1-2 Ma-present), and the gray wolf (2.5 Ma—present).


Canis edwardii was named by Gazin in 1942.

Xiaoming Wang and Richard H. Tedford proposed that the genus Canis was the descendant of the coyote-like Eucyon davisi and its remains first appeared in the Miocene (6 million YBP) in south-western USA and Mexico. By the Pliocene (5 million YBP), the larger Canis lepophagus appeared in the same region and by the Early Pleistocene (1 million YBP) Canis latrans (the Coyote) was in existence. They proposed that the progression from Eucyon davisi to C lepophagus to the Coyote was linear evolution. Additionally, C. edwardii, C. latrans and C. aureus form together a small clade and because C. edwardii appeared earliest spanning the mid-Blancan (late Pliocene) to the close of the Irvingtonian (late Pleistocene) it is proposed as the ancestor.

Canis priscolatrans

Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene in North America. The first definite wolf appeared in the Late Blancan/Early Irvingtonian, and named C. priscolatrans that was either very close to or a synonym for Canis edwardii. It resembled C. rufus in cranial size and proportions but with more complex dentition. However, there are no fossils of C. rufus until the Late Rancholabrean.

Björn Kurtén was uncertain if C. priscolatrans derived from C. lepophagus and C. arnensis, but believed that C. priscolatrans was a population of large coyotes that were ancestral to Rancholabrean and recent C. latrans. He noted that C. arnensis of Europe showed striking similarities to C. priscolatrans, and they could represent what once was a holarctic population of coyotes. R. M. Nowak disagreed, and believed that C. priscolatrans was a counterpart to the European C. etruscus. Kurtén later proposed that both C. priscolatrans and C. etruscus were part of a group which led to C. lupus but was not sure if they evolved separately from C. lepophagus or a possible common ancestor that was derived from C. lepophagus.

The remains of the larger coyote-like C. edwardii have been found in the later Pliocene in the south-western USA along with C. lepophagus, which indicates a descent. Tedford recognised C. edwardii and found that the cranio-dental morphology of C. priscolatrans fell inside that of C. edwardii such that the species name C. priscolatrans was doubtful (nomen dubium).


Canis edwardii was larger than C. latrans and differs in skull and some tooth proportions. A specimen was estimated by Legendre and Roth to weigh 35 kg (77 lb) and another specimen was estimated to weigh 31 kg (68 lb).


Canis edwardii Wikipedia

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Armbruster's wolf
Canis cedazoensis