Canis lepophagus

Name: Canis lepophagus ‭(‬Hare-eating Wolf‭).
Phonetic: Kay-nis lep-o-fa-gus.
Named By: Miller‭ & ‬Carranza-Castaneda‭ ‬-‭ ‬1998.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Carnivora,‭ ‬Canidae,‭ ‬Canis.
Species: C. lepophagus‭‬.
Diet: Carnivore.
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.

Further reading
- 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.


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