"WHERE DID WOLVES COME FROM?"

 
The first thing we have to do is learn two scientific names. They are not to hard to pronouce and I have a friend of mine who will help you to pronouce these words.

There are
three types of wolves, the gray wolf and the red wolf. We are only going to be talking about two of these types, the gray wolf and the red wolf.

The gray wolf is called: "CANIS LUPUS" and is pronouced like this.

CAN-NIS LOU_PESS

 
The red wolf is called: "CANIS RUFUS" and is pronouced like this.

CAN-NIS ROO-FESS

 
You can click on the
speaker below to hear how these names are pronouced.


 
So, where did wolves come from?

The best way to answer this question is to study the diagram below:

 
As you can see, the wolf started out about 60 million years ago during the Paleocene period. These animals walked on 5 toes and had partially retractable claws. Almost like a cat, but not quite. Some people think they looked like long legged weasels.

About 20 million years ago, the Miocene period, the two groups of animals that would make up the dogs and the cats were quite different from each other. It is interesting to note, that the wolf and the dog and the cat all came from the same original family around 60 million years ago.

As time went by, the legs of the wolf grew longer and the brain became larger and the teeth became sharper.
About 1 million years ago, the Pleistocene period, the wolf looked pretty much like it looks today.

Today, the wolf's closest relatives are the dogs. As a matter of fact, the dog belongs to the species: "CANIS LUPUS FAMILIARIS." The family dog is
actually a pure wolf.



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