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Ice Age coyotes were supersized compared to coyotes today, fossil study reveals
Date:2/27/2012

od from other large carnivores, including a bigger version of wolves living today called the dire wolf. After bigger carnivores such as dire wolves went extinct, coyotes would have no longer needed their large size to compete with these animals for food.

The findings are important because they show that extinction doesn't just affect the animals that disappear, the researchers say it has long-term effects on the species that remain as well.

"In a time of increasing loss of biodiversity, understanding the degree to which species interactions drive evolutionary change is important," says Saran Twombly, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology, which supported the research.

"Species interactions are delicate balancing acts. When species go extinct, we see the signature of the effects on the species that remain," Meachen said.


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Contact: Robin Ann Smith
rsmith@nescent.org
919-668-4544
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Source:Eurekalert  

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Ice Age coyotes were supersized compared to coyotes today, fossil study reveals
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