The dire wolf became extinct somewhere between 4,000 and 16,000 years ago. This is thought to be partially because of its inability to compete with the faster, more intelligent gray wolf. It is the largest canid known to ever exist. And though it was similar in many ways to the gray wolf, the dire wolf was heavier built, more robust, with shorter and more powerful legs, and a larger head.
Being a heavier animal with shorter legs, the dire wolf would have been slower and less adept at catching prey than the gray wolf. It is, therefore, believed that the dire wolf was more of a scavenger than predator. It would, however, hunt when the opportunity was there. Its teeth were more massive and strong, allowing it to easily consume carcasses. Although its head was larger, the brain case was smaller (A scavenger does not need to outsmart its prey). Also, being larger in size, it would have had less competition.
Dire Wolves were enormous
While Dire Wolves were a bit larger than the Gray Wolf, overall they were much the same size, although heavier and stockier. Their heads were the main difference as they were much more massive, wide, and thicker with muscle than an average Gray Wolf. They were not the size of small horses or bears and certainly not 5 feet tall and 500 – 600 pounds as World of Warcraft suggests.
Dire Wolves had saber-toothed fangs
While Dire Wolves did have larger teeth than Gray Wolves, their teeth did NOT protrude out from under their upper lips any differently than a regular wolf’s fangs. The saber toothed look of the prehistoric cat is NOT an actual fact of Dire Wolf anatomy.
Dire Wolves are mythical
Fossil evidence clearly shows that Dire Wolves were real predators roaming throughout North America at one time on Earth. Role playing games have perpetuated this myth, using the name “Dire Wolf” to describe enormous, vicious wolves in several games and novels. Dire Wolves were very much real, but after dominating the ice age world for around 100,000 years, they quickly died off and were never seen alive again.
Dire Wolves were significantly more ferocious than modern wolves
Dire Wolves were no more aggressive than modern wolves. It would seem that paleontologists have been able to analyze bones (bone growth analysis) to discover that although Dire Wolves could be vicious toward one another, they also found that heavily injured Dire Wolves lived much longer than they would have on their own. This leads many to believe that these wolves took care of their injured when they couldn’t otherwise. This does not lend itself to more ferocious than modern wolves. According to some scientists, Dire Wolves ran in packs of 30 or more, this alone would be more intimidating, but there is no evidence they were ferocious man-eating beasts.
A Dire wolf is a large wolf, which are usually portrayed as been much more vicious than a normal wolf and also more intelligent. Dire Wolves are usually black though dark greys are popular as well. There is a second description of a dire wolf that says that a dire wolf is a giant wolf that has been brought back from beyond the grave to hunt. Dire wolves tend to hunt in packs like there wolf relatives; a dire wolf can often be found leading packs of normal wolves.