The history of the wolf is fasinating to me. To start off with, scientist's don't truely know where these wolves originated. Some believe that they came from Asia and crossed over to North and South America on the Pleistocene land bridge. Others say wolves originated in North America and traveled to Asia and South America. They do know, however, that the modern day wolf evolved from the primitive carnivore family called Miacids. They were anywhere from the size of a gopher to a large dog. One of the species of the Miacids was the Dawn-wolf ( Cynodictis). It had a long body and resembled a super sized version of fox. This animal could climb and live in trees, so it was thought that it could be related to the feline species. Scientists believe that most sub-species of wolves evolved from two main types of Canines. The Canis Lupus-Grey Wolf, First found in Eurasia during the Pleistocene period around one million years ago, and the Canis dirus-Dire Wolf. Thought to be a decedent of the Canis Lupus and traveled to North America about 750,000 years ago. The Dire Wolf is larger than it's ancestor, but they lived together for at least 400,000 years, however, as food became scarce, so did this wolf. They became completely extinct about 7,000 years ago. When in it's prime, this wolf was the main cainine predator. He looked like a hyena. Like a hyena, they hunted and scavenged for food. This animal is like no other animal alive today. In size and mass, it is very similar to the modern day grey wolf.
Every species has sub-species. The Wolves sub-species were divided two different ways. One, the species they found before 1992 and after that they decided to change it so there were five different catagories. Canis occidentalis - The Western Canadian and most of the Alaskan species, Canis nubilus - The rest of Alaska's, Central and Northeaster Canadian and Western U.S species. Canis lycaon - The Southeastern Canasian and Northeastern U.S species. Canis arctos - The Arctic islands and Greenland species. Last, but not least, Canis Baileyi - The Mexican and Extreme Southwestern U.S species. The other species from the '92 list were Kenai Peninsula Wolf, White Wolf, Small Gray Wolf, Newfoundland Wolf, Bernard Wolf, Columbia Wolf, Crassodon Wolf, Fuscus, Grizzly Wolf, Hudson Wolf, and the Mountain Wolf, Labrador Wolf, Lago Wolf, Timber Wolf, Mackenzie Wolf, Arctic Wolf, Arizona Wolf, Texas Wolf, Buffalo Wolf, Mackenzie Valley Wolf, Hunter Wolf, Alakan Wolf, Tundra Wolf, and the Southern Rocky Mountain Wolf.