The dire wolf, an animal many people know from its fictional incarnation in “Game of Thrones” was a heavy-boned, powerful predator that roamed North America up to about 11,000 years ago, or perhaps even later, preying on large animals like extinct horses, bison, sloths and even mammoths.

While it was nowhere near as big as its television version, the dire wolf was about 20 percent larger on average than the gray wolf, and it was long considered a sister species, Canis dirus rather than Canis lupus. ‡

The new wolf, described online in the Journal of Zoology:

is a new species of canid found in North America that is probably the ancestor of the extinct Canis lupus and Canis dirus , which existed in the ecosystem well before the ancestors of modern wolves appeared. Comparisons of fossils and modern canid populations, age estimates from juvenile remains, and new mtDNA haplotypes of the new species suggest that in ancient North America, several canid lineages coexisted with closely related dogs, wolves and others. It is important to note that this new species may have been underestimated by more than 10 million years.

The wolf wasn't just a six-foot-tall pack animal either; along with the dire wolf, the other animals were about ankle-deep in weight but as big as a fish. They were primarily fast-moving, with long-distance running being their primary mode of locomotion:

In situ in southern Colorado where occasional humps rest

and slow down migratory Osprey when there are deeper pools

and smaller game for hunting. The strongly

prototypic comparison of this species with wildcanidradians

might lead to the conclusion that significant

grenade distributions derived from a common ancestor that sired greatadams

and sharp-toothed sharks earlier in time.‡

The screenshot above is made using prometheus.js, a handy javascript library which provides a rich picture of the physical world. In Prometheus , a terrain map is loaded with interactive maps and names of features. By clicking on these names, highlights appear across the source and target areas.

And in the Zeus web-client, this all comes together, with map preview in the main page and various graphics being shown out on the canvass (see picture below):

As aficionados of prehistoric stuff fish out from the respective pages, the idea is that you can fly or drive along the current furrows and terrain we've established. From the target display, on the main pane, you can look, zoom in on areas of interest and click on anything to zoom in on whatever part. Just below make this feature visible (see indicator in image below -—>Also check out Prometheus's standalone view). A zoom lever let's you play with magnification ('zoom up to the cusp of the horn').

How did the authors define an 'island?':

Coming from British Columbia, the