5 AMAZING facts about dire wolves

Game of Thrones introduced dire wolves to the world and our latest issue tells us all about their unfortunate extinction, but here are a few facts about them you never knew before

1. Dire wolves were the largest canines to ever live…

…but they were only fractionally bigger than modern wolves. They were more heavily built, rather than having a larger frame.

2. Tar pits, like La Brea in California, were dire wolf magnets

Prey species like mammoths would get stuck in the tar and emit distress calls. This would attract hungry wolves, causing them to get stuck themselves. La Brea has excavated more than 1,600 dire wolf skulls to date.

3. The sabre tooth tiger was the dire wolf’s arch nemesis…

…as they competed for prey during the Pleistocene epoch. Some evidence suggests that sabre tooth tigers and dire wolves hunted one another when smaller prey was scarce.

4. Evidence suggests that dire wolf teeth could crush bones…

…to extract nutritious marrow to supplement their diet. We don’t know that for sure, but we do know that their teeth were extremely sharp and could slice through flesh like butter.

5. You can learn all about the extinction of dire wolves in our cheetah issue…

…or sneak a peek at the actual page from the magazine here.

Learn more about the animal kingdom every month with World of Animals magazine, or get a great deal by subscribing or becoming a digital reader today.

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Image from flickr.com/photos/pattoise