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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fossil range: Miocene (9.0 Ma) to recent [1]
Golden Jackal, Canis aureus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
Genus: Canis
Linnaeus, 1758

  C. lupus also includes dogs, C. l. familiaris and dingos, C. l. dingo

Canis is a genus containing 7 to 10 extant species, including dogs, wolves, coyotes, and jackals, and many extinct species.


Wolves, dogs, and dingos

Wolves, dogs and dingos are subspecies of Canis lupus. The original referent of the English word wolf, the Eurasian Grey Wolf, is called Canis lupus lupus to distinguish it from other wolf subspecies, such as the Iranian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), the Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs), or the Tibetan Wolf (Canis lupus chanco), which are probably more similar to the variety of wolf that was ancestral to the modern dog (Canis lupus familiaris).

Some experts have suggested that some subspecies of C. lupus be considered Canis species distinct from Canis lupus. These include Central Asia's Himalayan wolf, and the Indian Wolf, as well as the North American's Red wolf and Eastern Wolf, although this is still controvertial.

The dingo (C. lupus dingo), from Australia, and the domestic dog (C. lupus familiaris), from which the dingo originated, are also considered subspecies of Canis lupus, although they themselves are not commonly referred to or thought of "wolves". [1]

Coyotes, Jackals, and "wolves"

C. lupus is but one of many Canis species, most of which are now extinct and little known to the general public. One of these, however, the Dire Wolf, has gained fame for the thousands of specimens found and displayed at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California.

The Dire Wolf is an example of the word "wolf" being applied loosely, i.e.: to a canid which is not Canis lupus. Other examples include Canis simensis, which has undergone many popular name changes, as its intermediate morphology had caused some to think of it as a jackal or a fox; but current taxonomic and genetic consensus is reflected in its "official name," the Ethiopian Wolf.

Canis species too small to attract the word "wolf" are called "coyotes" in the Western Hemisphere and Jackals in the East. Although these may not be more closely related to each other than they are to C. lupus, they are, as fellow Canis species, all more closely related to wolves and domestic dogs than they are to foxes, Maned Wolves, or other canid which do not belong to the Canis genus. The word "jackal" is applied to three distinct species of this group: Africa's Side-striped (C. adustus) and Black-backed jackals (C. mesomelas); and the Golden Jackal (C. aureus), which can be found across northern Africa, southwestern and south central Asia, and the Balkans.

While North America has only one small-sized species, the Coyote (C. latrans), it has become very widespread indeed, moving into areas once occupied by wolves. They can be found across much of mainland Canada; in every state of the continental United States; all of Mexico except the Yucatan peninsula; and Pacific and central areas of Central America, ranging as far south as northern Panama.


The name Canis means "dog" in Latin. The word canine comes from the adjective form, caninus ("of the dog"), from which the term canine tooth is also derived.[2] The canine family has prominent canine teeth, used for killing their prey.



See also



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also canis



Canis lycaon
Wikipedia has an article on:



From Latin canis, dog

Proper noun


  1. (zoology) A taxonomic genus, within family Canidae - the dogs, wolves, jackals etc.
Wikispecies has information on:


Derived terms


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Laurasiatheria
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Familia: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. adustus - C. aureus - †C. dirus - C. hallstromi - C. latrans - C. lupus - C. mesomelas - C. simensis - †C. ursinus


Canis Linnaeus, 1758

Type species: Canis familiaris Linnaeus, 1758 (= Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758), by Linnean tautonomy (Melville and Smith, 1987).


  • Alopedon Hilzheimer, 1906
  • Alopsis Rafinesque, 1815
  • Chaon C. E. H. Smith, 1839
  • Dasycyon Krumbiegel, 1953
  • Dieba Bray, 1869
  • Lupulella Hilzheimer, 1906
  • Lupulus Gervais, 1855
  • Lupus Oken, 1816
  • Lyciscus C. E. H. Smith, 1839
  • Mamcanisus Herrera, 1899
  • Neocyon Gray, 1868
  • Oreocyon Krumbiegel, 1949
  • Oxygous Hodgson, 1841
  • Sacalius C. E. H. Smith, 1839
  • Schaeffia Hilzheimer, 1906
  • Simenia Gray, 1868
  • Thos Oken, 1816
  • Vulpicanis de Blainville, 1837


  • Linnaeus, C. Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1: 38.
  • Canis on Mammal Species of the World.
    Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder (editors). 2005. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed).
  • Koler-Matznick J. (2003). An Updated Description of the New Guinea Singing Dog Canis Hallstromi Troughton 1957. J. Zoology, London 261:1-10.
  • Canis Linnaeus, 1758 Report on ITIS

Vernacular name

Català: Canis
Česky: Canis
Corsu: canis
Deutsch: Canis
Eesti: Koer(perekond)
English: Canis
Español: Canis
Esperanto: Kaniso
Français: Canis
한국어: 개속
Italiano: Canis
Latina: Canis(genus)
Lëtzebuergesch: Canis
Líguru: Canis
Nederlands: Canis
日本語: イヌ属
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Ektehundedyr
Occitan: Canis
Polski: Canis
Português: Canis
Русский: Волки
Suomi: Canis
Svenska: Canis
Türkçe: Canis
Українська: Вовк
中文: 犬屬
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Canis on Wikimedia Commons.


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