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Today, the wolf is represented by the many extant subspecies of Canis lupus, which includes the dog and dingo. By the Pliocene (5 million YBP), the larger Canis lepophagus appeared in the same region and by the Early Pleistocene (1 million YBP) Canis latrans (the Coyote) was in existence. lupus in both dental and post-cranial dimensions except for C.The fossil record for ancient vertebrates is composed of rarely occurring fragments from which it is often impossible to obtain genetic material. nehringi share dental and cranial similarities developed for hypercarnivory, suggesting C. They proposed that the progression from Eucyon davisi to C lepophagus to the Coyote was linear evolution. variabilis, which was "very strange" compared to other Canis in China as it had much smaller cranio-dental dimensions than earlier and later species. They were directly associated with human hunting camps in Europe over 30,000 (YBP) and it is proposed that they were domesticated.Researchers are limited to morphologic analysis but it is difficult to estimate the intra-species and inter-species variations and relationships that existed between specimens across time and place. They are also proposed to be either a proto-dog and the ancestor of the domestic dog or a type of wolf unknown to science.Some observations are debated by researchers who do not always agree, and hypotheses that are supported by some authors are challenged by others. In 2002, a study was undertaken into the fossil skulls of two large canids that had been found buried within meters of the doorway of what was once a mammoth-bone hut at the Eliseevichi-I Upper Paleolithic site in the Bryansk Region on the Russian Plain, and using an accepted morphologically based definition of domestication declared them to be "Ice Age dogs".
By 5 million YBP the larger Canis lepophagus appeared in the same region. lupus but was not sure if they evolved separately from C. Moreover, domestic dogs occupy a range of novel shapes outside the domain of wild carnivorans." The domestic dog compared to the wolf shows the greatest variation in the size and shape of the skull (Evans 1979) that range from 7 to 28 cm in length (Mc Greevy 2004).
The canids that had immigranted from North America to Eurasia – Eucyon, Vulpes, and Nyctereutes – were small to medium-sized predators during the Late Miocene and Early Pliocene but they were not the top predators. Tedford disagreed with previous authors and found that its cranio-dental morphology lacked some characteristics that are shared by C. latrans, and therefore there was not a close relationship but it did suggest C. arnensis of Europe showed striking similarities to C. lepophagus or a possible common ancestor that was derived from C. Wolves are dolichocephalic (long skulled) but not as extreme as some breeds of such as greyhounds and Russian wolfhounds (Mc Greevy 2004).
The position of the canids would change with the arrival of Canis to become a dominant predator across the Holarctic. chihilensis appeared in northern China in the Mid-Pliocene around 4–3 million YBP. lepophagus was the ancestor of both wolves and coyotes. priscolatrans was a population of large coyotes that were ancestral to Rancholabrean and recent C. priscolatrans, and they could represent what once was a holarctic population of coyotes. Canine brachycephaly (short-skulledness) is found only in domestic dogs and is related to paedomorphosis (Goodwin 1997).
This was followed by an explosion of Canis evolution across Eurasia in the Early Pleistocene around 1.8 million YBP in what is commonly referred to as the Wolf event. Puppies are born with short snouts, with the longer skull of dolichocephalic dogs emerging in later development (Coppinger 1995).
Wolves went through a population bottleneck 20,000 years before present (YBP), which indicates that many wolf populations had gone extinct at a time that coincided with the Last Glacial Maximum and the expansion of modern humans worldwide with their technology for capturing large game. The two taxa share a number of characteristics (synapomorphy), which suggests an origin of C. In 2010, a study found that the diversity of the Canis group decreased by the end of the Early Pleistocene to Middle Pleistocene and was limited in Eurasia to the small wolves of the C. variabilis group that were a comparable size to the extant Canis lupus pallipes, and the large hypercarnivorous Canis (Xenocyon) lycaonoides that was comparable in size to extant northern gray wolves. It was still living in Europe at a time coinciding with the North American Early Rancholabrean and had grown in size by the Late Rancholabrean. mosbachensis was the ancestor of Eurasian and North American wolves, and that one population of C. mosbachensis remained in Eurasia and evolved into C. variabilis (which was once distibuted from Khazakhstan to China) as they both existed in the Middle Pleistocene across mid-latitude Eurasia. variabilis had "nasal bones that terminate at or anterior to the most posterior position of the frontal-maxillary suture", and therefore these two taxa could represent variation in the one geographically widespread mid-Pleistocene wolf. edwardii appeared earliest spanning the mid-Blancan (late Pliocene) to the close of the Irvingtonian (late Pleistocene) it is proposed as the ancestor.