Dire Wolf – Is This a Carcass?

Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) (left) and Smilodon (Sabertooth Tiger) at La Brea Tar Pits, California.
Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) (left) and Smilodon (Sabertooth Tiger) at La Brea Tar Pits, California.

A follower of CryptoVille shared some photos of what she thought was the carcass of a Dire Wolf. The only problem is that science believes that Dire Wolves are extinct nowadays, so this presents quite a puzzle. Let’s see what we can determine.

One of CryptoVille’s Facebook followers shared a couple photos with me last year. I only got around to investigating it now even though I’ve been thinking about it all this time. I tried to find the name of the woman who shared it with me but for reasons known only to Facebook, I can’t find the old post. My apologies to her.

Anyway, to the photos. The photo of the skeleton is in a museum somewhere, but it provides a good reference especially in the snout area.


Let’s look at the carcass itself. My first thought was this it resembled something out of a fantasy movie – made by imagineers.


When animals die in the wild (actually, anywhere), their bodies become dehydrated and begin to break down and decay even if they’re frozen.  So who knows how old this carcass is or how long it’s been decaying naturally.  All these factors will impact the appearance of the carcass.

While the photo we have is fairly clear, it’s at a distance which means we can’t see any important detail. What really needs to happen is a scientist has to get a DNA sample and test it.

The Verdict

As it stands, we can’t say whether this is a real carcass of a species living today or of an extinct one. There is also the possibility that it is a hoax.

Because the circumstances surrounding this carcass are so mysterious and vague, I’m going to have to think it’s a hoax. Until someone comes up with more information that can be checked, like a DNA sample, that’s the best we can do.

What do you think about the “Dire Wolf” carcass?





  1. someone did a good job trying to make this look like a dire wolf. The ears are way too far back for one thing. There are heads of dires all over, but never fur nor skin nor muscle on them. been way too long. great looking piece of art here though.

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