|By about 40 million
years ago (the Eocene Epoch), the various branches of the mammalian
order Carnivora were already well defined, such as felids, canids, mustelids
and viverrids. The members of the canid genus Canis,
however, are actually a rather recent evolutionary development, with most
modern species being a product of the past few million years. During
this time, which encompasses the Pliocene, Pleistocene, and Holocene epochs,
the mammals which can truly be called "wolves" came into existence.
The North American continent provides a rich geological record of wolves
and their close relations. Below is a selection of thumbnail images
of some of the wolf and other canine fossils that I have collected over
Click on the thumbnail images
to view pages about each fossil canid species.