Animals

Extinct Wolf Species, From Prehistoric Times to Now

The modern Gray Wolf is one of the most interesting species of carnivore alive today. Thanks to domestication efforts by early humans, the wolf evolved into the modern dog species we all know and love, but the wolf itself still lives alongside many of its various subspecies and cousins who share a common ancestor. The canus genus began evolving some 300,000 years ago, and since that time, there have been a plethora of types of wolves and of interesting animals, which have gone extinct. Some died out due to climate change while others perished thanks to human predation, trapping, and poisoning efforts.

Whatever their reason for disappearing, these prehistoric animals have gone the way of the Dodo Bird, and will never be seen again. Fortunately, the Gray Wolf is still alive as are hundreds of breeds of dogs. Other Canis like the coyote, dingo, and jackal aren't featured here since they aren't true wolves. The animals on this list are either a subspecies of wolf, like the Hokkaido Wolf, or they are an extinct species like the Dire Wolf which share a common ancestor. They are ordered by how fearsome they might have been in comparison to their extant cousins, the Gray Wolf.