Canis dirus is known to occur as far north as southern Alberta (Canada) and south into South America to southern Bolivia (Dundas, 1999).
Canis dirus has a deep and robust mandible, a short and robust canine, a p1 that is single rooted and with a single principal cusp, a p2 that is double rooted with a small posterior accessory cuspid, a p3 with a large posterior accessory cusp, a large and robust p4 that is larger than the p3, and a massive and heavy ml with small accessory cuspids on the posterior margin of the trigonid (Merriam, 1912; Berta, 1988).
Canis dirus would have filled the pursuit-predator niche in the tropical environment of Terapa, hunting large mammals such as Bison, Equus, large antilocaprids, and camelids that frequented the local environments, which are interpreted to have been a marsh with thorn-scrub to deciduous forest including some component of a grassland.
Craniofacial morphology and feeding behavior in Canis dirus, the extinct Pleistocene dire wolf.
New body mass estimates for Canis dirus, the extinct Pleistocene dire wolf.
Quaternary records of the dire wolf, Canis dirus, in North and South America.
A morphological comparison of Canis dirus and the extant bone crushing hyena, Crocuta crocuta.