Cenozoic Earth ] Back | Next >

 North America
 150 thousand years ago

Mean atmospheric O2
 Same as modern level

Mean atmospheric CO2
 Pre-industrial level

Mean temperature
 5C below modern level

Cenozoic Earth - A pack of dire wolves crossing paths with two mammoths 150 thousand years ago during the Upper (Tarantian) Pleistocene Epoch in North America; megafauna- Natural History Illustration Geologic Time Scale

 Era: Cenozoic
  Period: Quaternary
   Epoch: Pleistocene
    Age: Tarantian*


Mammoths & dire wolves

A pack of dire wolves crosses paths with two mammoths 150 thousand years ago in North America. A late fall dusting of snow heralds the coming winter. This was a period of glaciation known in North America as the Illinoian Stage when the Laurentide ice sheet covered much of the continent to a depth of 2 miles.

The extinct Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) was closely related to the modern Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), though is not the direct ancestor of any known wolf today.  The Dire Wolf was larger and stockier than the Gray Wolf with proportionally shorter legs.

Mammoths were close relatives of modern elephants and approximately the same size, though Asian mammoths were somewhat larger than their American cousins. Mammoths had massive tusks; one uncovered in North America was 11 feet long,

Both mammoths and dire wolves disappeared from the North American continent about ten thousand years ago.

*AKA Tyrrhenian Stage, Eemian, Sangamonian


Copyright Walter B. Myers. All rights reserved.

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