|Pyry Matikainen (pmatikainen) Licensed under CC-By-SA-2.5|
07 April 2015
There are plenty of papers on Dire Wolves. Part of the reason most definitely lies in the fact that the Dire Wolf is, in fact, a wolf, and therefore a very charismatic animal in the hearts and minds of many people. Any dog, in fact, would count, but a giant wolf is not just a charismatic animal, but charismatic megafauna. The number of studies of Dire Wolves because of this has been exponential and explored areas as diverse as craniofacial morphology and reproductive behaviors. Probably the most abundant studies concern the tar pits at La Brea, records of populations, and body mass estimates. The reason for the records and discussion of specimens recovered from the tar pits can be seen in this wall of Canis dirus skulls that were recovered from La Brea (i.e. sheer numbers!).