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Canines - Wolves, Foxes, The Domestic Dog

species including wolf canidae

Canines are species in the carnivore family, Canidae, including the wolves, coyote, foxes, dingo, jackals, and several species of wild dog. The family also includes the domestic dog, which is believed to have descended from the wolf. The Canidae includes 10-14 genera with 30-35 species, depending on the taxonomic treatment.

Canines originated in North America during the Eocene era (38-54 million years ago), from there they spread throughout the world. The social behavior of canines varies from solitary habits to highly organized, cooperative packs. Canines range in size from the fennec fox, about 16.5 in (41 cm) long including the tail and weighing about 1 lb (0.5 kg), to the gray or timber wolf, which is more than 6 ft (2 m) in length and weighs up to 175 lb (87.5 kg).

Canid skulls have a long muzzle, well-developed jaws, and a dental formula of 42 teeth. Most canines species live in packs, which offer several benefits including group defense of territory, communal care of the young, and the ability to catch large prey species.


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