In the history of the carnivores, the family Canidae is represented by the two extinct subfamilies designated as Hesperocyoninae and Borophaginae, and the extant subfamily Caninae.[5] This subfamily includes all living canids and their most recent fossil relatives.[6] Their fossils have been found in Lower Oligocene North America, and they did not spread to Asia until the end of the Miocene,[7][8][9][10] some 7 million to 8 million years ago.[5] Many extinct species of Caninae were endemic to North America, living from 34 million to 11,000 years ago.[11]

Temporal range: Early Miocene - Recent
Familia Canidae
Diversity of Canines
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
G. Fischer de Waldheim, 1817


"Derived characteristics that distinguish the Caninae from other canids include small, simple, well-spaced premolars, a humerus without an entepicondylar foramen, and a metatarsal 1 which is reduced to a proximal rudiment."[12]

Based on genetic assumptions, the present-day, more-basal canids include:[13]


  1. ^ McKenna, M. C; S. K. Bell (1997). Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11012-X.
  2. ^ Lyras G.A., Van der Geer A.E., Dermitzakis M., De Vos J. (2006) Cynotherium sardous, an insular canid (Mammalia: Carnivora) from the Pleistocene of Sardinia (Italy), and its origin. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: Vol. 26, No. 3 pp. 735–745
  3. ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 532–628. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  4. ^ Sotnikova, M. (2006). "A new canid Nurocyon chonokhariensis gen. et sp. nov.(Canini, Canidae, Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Mongolia" (PDF). Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg. 256: 11. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
  5. ^ a b Miklosi, Adam (2015). Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition. Oxford Biology (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 103–107. ISBN 978-0199545667.
  6. ^ Tedford, Richard; Xiaoming Wang; Beryl E. Taylor (2009). "Phylogenetic systematics of the North American fossil Caninae (Carnivora: Canidae)". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 325: 1–218. doi:10.1206/574.1.
  7. ^ Rook L (1993) I cani dell’Eurasia dal Miocene superiore al Pleistocene medio. PhD Dissertation, Modena-Bologna-Firenze-Roma “La Sapienza” Universities
  8. ^ Rook L (2009) The wide ranging genus Eucyon Tedford & Qiu, 1996 (Mammalia, Carnivora, Canidae) in Mio-Pliocene of the Old World. Geodiversitas 31: 723–743
  9. ^ Wang, Xiaoming; Tedford, Richard H.; Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2008.
  10. ^ Re-Defining Canis etruscus (Canidae, Mammalia): A New Look into the Evolutionary History of Early Pleistocene Dogs Resulting from the Outstanding Fossil Record from Pantalla (Italy) Cherin, Marco ; Bertè, Davide ; Rook, Lorenzo ; Sardella, Raffaele, Journal of Mammalian Evolution, 2014, Vol.21(1), pp.95-110
  11. ^ Paleobiology Database: Caninae Basic info.
  12. ^ In Evolution of Tertiary mammals of North America, ed. C. M. Janis, K. M. Scott, and L. L. Jacobs. New York: Cambridge University Press 1998. Chapter 7, Canidae by Kathleen Munthe, p124-143
  13. ^ Macdonald, David W.; Sillero-Zubir, Claudio, The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids, Oxford University Press, retrieved February 16, 2016

Further reading

  • Xiaoming Wang, Richard H. Tedford, Mauricio Antón, Dogs: Their Fossil Relatives and Evolutionary History, New York : Columbia University Press, 2008; ISBN 978-0-231-13528-3

Archaeocyon ("beginning dog") is an extinct genus of the Borophaginae subfamily of canids native to North America. It lived during the Oligocene epoch 32-24 Ma., existing for approximately 8 million years. Species of Archaeocyon are among the earliest known borophagines, although a species of Otarocyon has a slightly earlier first appearance. Fossils have been found across the northern Great Plains and along the west coast of North America.Archaeocyon was a comparatively small and unspecialized dog. Its dentition (teeth) suggests a slightly more hypocarnivorous (omnivorous) diet than the otherwise similar Hesperocyon. The skeleton is also generalized, lacking specializations for running and retaining a plantigrade foot posture.

A few derived features of the dentition support a relationship to Borophaginae and Caninae (the subfamily that includes living canids), rather than to the basal canid subfamily Hesperocyoninae. The temporal position of Archaeocyon suggests an affinity to borophagines because the first members of Caninae appear substantially earlier.


Borophagina is a subtribe of the Borophaginae, a group of extinct canids. They inhabited much of North America from the Early Miocene to the Zanclean stage of the Pliocene, 20.6—3.6 Mya, and existed for approximately 17 million years.Like some other borophagines, they were short-faced, heavy-jawed canids although the group included both omnivorous and hypercarnivorous species.


The subfamily Borophaginae is an extinct group of canids called "bone-crushing dogs" that were endemic to North America during the Oligocene to Pliocene and lived roughly 36—2.5 million years ago and existing for about 33.5 million years.


The biological family Canidae

(from Latin, canis, “dog”) is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid (, ).The cat-like feliformia and dog-like caniforms emerged within the Carnivoramorpha 43 million years before present. The caniforms included the fox-like genus Leptocyon whose various species existed from 34 million years ago (Mya) before branching 11.9 Mya into Vulpi (foxes) and Canidae (canines).Canids are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-m-long (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 24-cm-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving co-operatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. One canid, the domestic dog, long ago entered into a partnership with humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.

Canine terminology

Canine terminology in this article refers only to dog terminology, specialized terms describing the characteristics of various external parts of the domestic dog, as well as terms for structure, movement, and temperament. This terminology is not typically used for any of the wild species or subspecies of wild wolves, foxes, coyotes, dholes, jackals or the basal caninae. Dog terminology is often specific to each breed or type of dog. Breed standards use this terminology in the description of the ideal external appearance of each breed, although similar characteristics may be described with different terms in different breeds.


Canis is a genus of the Canidae containing multiple extant species, such as wolves, coyotes, jackals, dingoes, and dogs. Species of this genus are distinguished by their moderate to large size, their massive, well-developed skulls and dentition, long legs, and comparatively short ears and tails.

Canis arnensis

Canis arnensis (or Arno River dog) is an extinct species of canine that was endemic to Mediterranean Europe during the Early Pleistocene. The Arno River dog has been described as a small jackal-like dog. Its anatomy and morphology relate it more to the modern golden jackal (Canis aureus) than to the larger Etruscan wolf of that time. It is probably the ancestor of modern jackals.

Canis cedazoensis

Canis cedazoensis is an extinct species of smaller canid which was endemic to North America during the Pleistocene epoch, 1.8 Ma—300,000 years ago.

The morphology and dentition of C. cedazoensis suggests a jackal-like animal that was more hypercarnivorous than any current jackal. C. cedazoensis is close in size to the living golden jackal. It' appears to form an endemic clade with Canis thooides and Canis feneus, and is possibly descended from Canis lepophagus.C. cedazoensis would have shared its habitat with both Armbruster's wolf and the dire wolf for approximately 1.8 million years before becoming extinct. Other competitors would have been the sabretooth cats Smilodon and Homotherium.

Canis etruscus

Canis etruscus (the Etruscan wolf) is an extinct species of canine that was endemic to Mediterranean Europe during the Early Pleistocene. The Etruscan wolf has been described as a small wolf-like dog. The Etruscan wolf is accepted as the ancestor of C. mosbachensis that is the ancestor of the gray wolf (C. lupus).


Cynarctina is an extinct clade of the Borophaginae subfamily of canids native to North America.

They lived from the Early to Middle Miocene 16.0—10.3 Ma, existing for approximately 5.7 million years. Cynarctines had rounded cusps on the molar teeth, similar to those seen in living bears, suggesting that they were likely omnivores.


Eucyon (Greek: Eu: good, true; cyon: dog) is an extinct genus of small omnivorous coyote-like canid that first appeared in North America during the Miocene, living from 10.3—3.6 Ma and existed for approximately 6.7 million years. The genus is notable because it is proposed that its lineage gave rise to the genus Canis.


Gobicyon is an extinct genus belonging to the dog family (Canidae) endemic to Central Asia during the Late Miocene 13.6—11.6 Ma, existing for approximately 2 million years. Fossils have been discovered only at Tong Xin in Central China.


Leptocyon (Greek: "slender dog") is an extinct genus of small canid endemic to North America. It lived during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs, 31 to 10 million years ago. They are the most primitive known members of the Caninae, the subfamily to which all living dogs and foxes belong.Leptocyon was a small-bodied, fox-like animal with a slender jaw, weighing less than 2 kilograms (4.4 lb). They were probably omnivorous, feeding on small animals and fruit, and remained relatively unchanged for millions of years. One species, L. delicatus, was the smallest known canid.

List of Rosa species

There is significant disagreement over the number of true rose species. Some species are so similar that they could easily be considered variations of a single species, while other species show enough variation that they could easily be considered to be different species. Lists of rose species usually show more than 360.


Microtomarctus is an extinct monospecific genus of the Borophaginae subfamily of canids native to North America. It lived during the Early to Middle Miocene, and existed for approximately 7 million years. Fossil specimens have been found in Nebraska, coastal southeast Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado. It was an intermediate-size canid, and more predaceous than earlier borophagines.Like some other borophagines it had powerful, bone-crushing jaws and teeth.


Philotrox is an extinct monospecific genus of the Hesperocyoninae subfamily of early canids native to North America. It lived during the Oligocene, 30.8—26.3 Ma, existing for approximately 5 million years. In form, it was intermediate between the small Cynodesmus and the later Enhydrocyon, the first hypercarnivorous, "bone-cracking", canid.


Theriodictis is an extinct genus of small hypercarnivorous fox-like canid endemic to South America during the Pleistocene, living from 1.2 Ma-11,000 years ago and existing for approximately 1.19 million years.

Prey is thought to have included ungulate camelids (e.g. llama), cervids (e.g. Epieurycerus and Antifer), equids (e.g. Equus and Hippidion), Peccaries (e.g. Catagonus), giant rodents (e.g. Neochoerus), mesotherids (e.g. the burrowing Mesotherium), and giant cingulates (e.g. Eutatus, Propraopus and Pampatherium).


Xenocyon ("strange wolf") is an extinct subgenus of Canis. The group includes Canis (Xenocyon) africanus, Canis (Xenocyon) antonii and Canis (Xenocyon) falconeri that gave rise to Canis (Xenocyon) lycanoides. The hypercarnivore Xenocyon gave rise to the modern dhole and the African wild dog.

Extant Carnivora species
Extinct members of the family Canidae

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