Phonetic: Kay-nis lep-o-fa-gus.
Named By: Miller & Carranza-Castaneda - 1998.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Carnivora, Canidae, Canis.
Species: C. lepophagus.
Size: Weight up to 18.5 kg.
Known locations: USA.
Time period: Tortonian of the Miocene through to the Gelasian of the Pleistocene.
Fossil representation: Many specimens.
Canis lepophagus is an important entry in the fossil record as it seems to represent the form that today’s wolves and coyotes are evolved from. Its small size meant that it was probably a predator of small mammals like rodents, but it may have supplemented its diet by scavenging the carcasses of animals killed by other larger predators of the times.
- Preliminary report on the vertebrate type locality of Cita Canyon and the description of an ancestral coyote. - American Journal Science (5)35:383-390. - C. S. Johnston - 1938.