General

Big long haired dog

Big long haired dog

Big long haired dog

The big long-haired dog is an extinct hybrid dog species that may have been part of a type of ancient wolf-like dog in the family Canidae. It is a mixture of a large type of the modern European and Asian wolves and a small type of the modern Arctic wolf (see table). It has been proposed as a probable ancestor of modern Arctic dogs, most of which are domesticated grey wolves.

Description

The largest specimens of the species that have been studied so far measure at least at the shoulder. Some have been put at over and are estimated to have weighed more than . It also has been known to exceed in height, at the shoulder. Although not as large as its direct ancestors, the dog appears to be a fairly heavy wolf. The size may have allowed it to survive until the end of the last glacial maximum, about 14,500 years ago.

Some accounts say that the big long-haired dogs had a slightly different skull shape, and a larger head. They are also thought to have had large eyes, and a prominent and rounded forehead. These claims have not been supported by recent physical descriptions.

The species has been distinguished from the modern wolves by its much larger size. This trait is thought to have arisen from hybridisation between a larger type of wolf and a smaller type of wolf. In this respect, the species appears to have behaved like a dog. The modern wolf is generally accepted to have originated between the early to mid-Holocene epochs. The ancestry of the species is also believed to be unknown.

Distribution

The first fossil specimens of the species were found in the area of the Bering Sea, to the north of Siberia, about from Novosibirsk, in the Russian Far East. Specimens have also been found in the eastern part of the Kola Peninsula. There are some reports that it has been found in Greenland, however, most studies say that this information is either unreliable or not based on actual fossil specimens. A later study suggested that the first fossil remains are not from Greenland, but from the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Barents Sea. During the period that it inhabited Novaya Zemlya, the species seems to have been widespread in the northern part of Eurasia. At the beginning of the Holocene, the species had an estimated range of .

Description

The specimen found in Siberia was described as the "largest known Canidae fossil from the Holocene". The individual found in Novaya Zemlya was about tall at the shoulders, and long from its shoulder to the tip of its tail. It weighed . This size meant that the animal could easily have been the size of a modern grey wolf. However, other descriptions suggest that it was a larger wolf than the modern ones. Other studies describe it as slightly larger than the modern wolf. The length of its muzzle is about for the northern specimen and for the Novaya Zemlya specimen. This suggests that the species had a very short muzzle. The teeth of the fossil canids also suggest that they were not the modern size of the species, as they are similar to the teeth of the wolf-like Canis parinus, and have a different pattern of tooth shape. The northern specimen is considered to be more similar to the modern wolf than the specimen from Novaya Zemlya.

The fossil from Siberia is composed of mostly soft tissue, and lacks bones. Only a few areas of bone have been found. These bone locations were most likely from the shoulder region, and possibly the lower leg. The bone locations that have been found in the Siberian specimen suggest that it had a longer snout than modern wolves. The teeth of the fossil specimens show a strong resemblance to the teeth of the wolf-like Canis parinus.

Habitat and behavior

The location of the fossil suggest that this is a cave wolf, and the cave is thought to be relatively new. The cave is thought to have been around in diameter. Studies have also shown that the wolf was most likely nocturnal. This was determined by the fact that large amounts of animal remains and scat were found in the cave, which is more likely to be found by nocturnal animals. It is also more likely to find evidence of nocturnal species if the species is still living in the area, rather than having died a long time ago. This shows that the wolf was nocturnal, and spent its life in caves. It lived in the northern parts of Siberia, and in Novaya Zemlya.

The environment of the cave has been determined by the location and size of the wolf remains. A study done on the bone locations showed that these bones were placed in specific locations within the cave. This indicates that the location of the wolf was a consistent area.

In modern times, wolf-like canines have been found in many parts of Eurasia. This shows that cave wolves were the ancestors of modern day wolves. It is theorized that the cave wolf was one of the ancestors that led to the development of modern day wolves, and the fossils show that this is the case. These canines have a similar appearance to modern day wolves, and it is believed that this was the common ancestor of modern day wolves. Although this is the case, there is still some differences. This is most likely due to changes in the environment, or due to mutations. The cave wolf is more distant from wolves found in the Pleistocene than those found today. They are believed to have started to separate at a later time than the caves were found in. This may be due to changes in the environment. Some mutations occurred due to a change in environment. These changes occurred in the Pleistocene and made the wolf to start to adapt.

References

Category:Prehistoric canines

Category:Prehistoric mammals of Europe

Category:Early Canine fossils

Category:Fossil taxa of Europe

Category:Pleistocene carnivorans

Category:Prehistoric mammals of Asia

Category:Fossil taxa described in 1964