From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Dogs (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Dogs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Canidae and Dogs on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Mammals (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mammals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of mammal-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Canis is the Genus name of a group of animals that includes the dog the wolf. So it is wrong to redirect.

What part of the Miocene?[edit]

That's a pretty long era, like 23MYA to 5.5MYA or something like that. Anything more specific on the appearance of this genus? I think D. Johanson says very beginning of the Miocene in Africa, in his 1988 video series about hominids, but he's no expert on canids.~~Kamaila —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaimiikekamaila (talkcontribs) 22:23, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

"Advanced" ?[edit]

What does it mean that a genus is "advanced" ? Tjunier 08:50, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

It has a number of derived characters; its morphology is far from its ancestors' morphology. Ucucha (talk) 14:03, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

MSW 3[edit]

With regards to the ongoing (nearly) edit war, I'd like to provide my sources. I'm using the following reference:

Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds) Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.

They recognize the Red Wolf as a subspecies of C. lupus, because it's probably a hybrid. They don't yet want to recognize C. lycaon. C. pallipes is a subspecies of lupus since about a century, probably. So, please delete them. Ucucha (talk) 09:23, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

If you want to use your oft-quoted "Big Book of Mammals" in order to classify which species you consider to be a Canis and which species you don't consider a Canis, don't just ERASE things from the article. Your prior edit paffled a good chunk of the article!
I've taken the two lupus subs and placed them underneath the other Gray Wolf lupus subspecies. When it comes to an article this short, especially one so short it needs a stub, if you see something that needs classification or whatnot, Don't just REMOVE the thing from the article, for the love of Pete. Never Cry Wolf 11:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
I think a genus article serves to list species, not subspecies. I'm removing species from the article that are not species according to the most authoritative current source on mammal taxonomy.
Another interesting reference is It indicates the distribution of C. l. pallipes to be about Turkey to India. It seems MSW is using about the same taxonomy.
If you think subspecies should be included in this article, please add them. If you want, I can send you the MSW list for Canis, so that you can also add subspecies for the other species (especially latrans has lots of them). Ucucha (talk) 14:27, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
When there is a conflict of sources, the thing to do is keep both and point out the conflict. Keep the disputed subspecies, but say that "Big Book of Mammals" disputes them. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 01:47, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
If you can provide an authoritative source for an alternative taxonomy... (and that's not a century-old dictionnary) Ucucha (talk) 05:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
You mean a source besides the roughly 9,530 results that any given search for the subspecies brings up? Pallipes is a subspecies of the Grey Wolf- we should classify it with the other G.W. subs that were listed, like the common dog and the Red Wolf. Unless you are proposing the removal of all wolf subspecies from the stub? Never Cry Wolf 05:37, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'll also add the other subspecies from MSW 3. I have never meant to dispute pallipes ' subspecies status; I'm sorry if you thought so. Ucucha (talk) 06:52, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


Because Ucucha was kind enough to lay down the subspecies foundations (thanks a bundle Ucucha), I've begun to put them into a small formatted table for easy reference. Any comments would be appreciated. Cheers! Never Cry Wolf 07:59, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Subspecies table is complete! Now comes the fun part- you see all those little red words? Each one is a poor, neglected Wolf article in need of care. So... starting tomorrow that's my next project. Huzzah! Never Cry Wolf 08:48, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it's better to move mesomelas, simensis and dirus below adustus and split lupus into a few columns. That'll make the article look better, I think. In any case, the table is better than the long list it was before :). Ucucha (talk) 09:19, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

The table needs to be disambiguated. The Latin names are usually redirects, which should be avoided to improve system performance. The links should be in the format [[Article Title|Latin name]], or use both the common name and Latin name with only the common name linked to the article title. (Linking the Latin name would be redundant.) Tycon.jpgCoyoty 00:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Fixing redirects doesn't make much of a difference (see Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects) for server performance, though I agree it is better (because Special:Recentchangeslinked is otherwise broken and for a couple of other reasons). However, I don't have common names for all the subspecies. Maybe you can look for them. Ucucha (talk) 07:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
It's on my to-do list, guys. I took Easter off when it comes to major Wikipedia editing, but I should be able to get the table organization project (with common names) finished this week. Basically it's a matter of moving mesomelas, simensis and dirus below adustus, splitting lupus into a few columns, and then attaching the common names to the front. Never Cry Wolf 08:09, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Classification Order[edit]

Right now the order is alphabetized by latin, but I think organizing by common name might look better...

How does
Dire Wolf
Ethiopian Wolf
Grey Wolf

Black Jackal
Golden Jackal
Side Striped Jackal

Never Cry Wolf 01:40, 19 April 2006 (UTC)


I moved the "List of Canis species an subspecies" its own article and then replaced it with a see also section (a long list of subspecies doesn't belong with the article itself, by the way the list needs a lot of improvment). I just thought I should let everyone know.--eskimospy (talkcontribscount) 01:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Red Wolf[edit]

I added the red wolf back into the species list. The sources I am using are as follows:

Walker's Carnivores of the World by Ronald M. Nowak, with introduction by David W. Macdonald and Roland W. Kays Published 2005
Mammals of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park by Donald W. Linzey Published 1995
The International Wildlife Encyclopedia edited by Maurice and Robert Burton Published 1970 (this one is old, I know)
The Encyclopedia of Mammals New Edition edited by David W. Macdonald Published 2006

There seems to be a discrepancy with the classification of the red wolf. It is listed on the canis page as canis rufus; one the red wolf page itself to be "canis lupus rufus"; and on the subspecies page as canis rufus rufus and having sub-species which aren't mentioned in the respective article!!!

this is far from conistent and needs sorting! Wuku (talk) 17:21, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


Canine definitely comes from the Latin canis. Carnivore and Canine have seperate Latin roots, and canine means both things referring to dogs and things referring to those specific teeth. If it came from carnivore, it would be carnine, unless someone can show a source. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I removed the unsourced assertion and added the correct information with a citation: (talk) 23:32, 20 June 2009 (UTC)


An IP user tagged this article with {{cleanup}} last October, but didn't say why. Some of the citations were a bit squiffy (e.g. MSW3 pointed to Canidae rather than Canis). I've tried to fix such. Anything else needed? --Stfg (talk) 17:06, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

As there were no comments, I've done it, but put {{refimprove}} there since it's quite full of unsupported statements. --Stfg (talk) 09:57, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Error in taxobox[edit]

Doesn't the cross in the legend signify an extinct species? __meco (talk) 10:44, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes. What's the error? Ucucha 11:00, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I see. That was probably meant to be a footnote; I've changed the symbol to clarify that. Ucucha 11:01, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

This branch on the Tree of Life[edit]

Let's get this straight: Starting from, for no important reason, Canis lupus, and working backwards, the first branching we meet is the coyote, then the golden jackal, then the two other jackals, and then the Ethiopian? Readers of this article may want to know. I know I do. Chrisrus (talk) 21:41, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

Hello all. We appear to be maintaining both a Canis page and a Canidae page, both with much the same material. Perhaps we could concentrate our efforts and maintain just Canidae with a redirect from Canis. Regards, William Harristalk • 20:18, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Why? One is about just this genus, only, and the other is about the entire dog family of carnivorans. Chrisrus (talk) 20:20, 1 April 2015 (UTC
Clearly, but that was not my point. William Harristalk • 20:33, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
You want to merge all the genera into the family or just this one? Only that family, or all families? Chrisrus (talk) 20:56, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't want anything, I am proposing so that greater minds than mine can ponder. The Canidae page lists the entire family but fails to provide a chapter on each of the genera. Under the species and taxonomy chapter there is a link to the pages for Canis, Lycaon, Lycalopex but no page for Cuon, Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon, and Speothos, with Dusicyon being extinct. One could argue that there are a number of members for Canis and Lycalopex, but that is not the case for Lycaon (one alive, one extinct). So my query is what is this page for, what information is it imparting that could not be found elsewhere, what does it do (apart from calling for citations to support its conjecture), and what is the rule that is being applied? If it were to compare some variable across the species making up the genus in some way then it would have a purpose, but it does not do that. (Thanks for being cognizant that this is not a joke and replying seriously Chrisrus - I never joke on Wikipedia.) Regards, William Harristalk • 20:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Your suggestion won't happen, but it may lead us to take a look at the situation with a WP:TOL perspective and see what we can learn about how well our Wikipedian systemics seem to be working: Canis, Lycaon, Lycalopex, Cuon, Atelocynus, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon, Speothos, Dusicyon. Chrisrus (talk) 03:17, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
User:Editor abcdef is right, our rules state that in general, if a genus (or family, and so on) only has one species, there should be no article about the genus itself, but it should be an article primarily about that one species with any information about the genus merged into it. In this family, only the articles Canis and Lycalopex have more than one extant species, so they of course are articles about genera. Dusicyon, Lycaon, and Speothos are also articles about genuses, too, because they contain multiple species, although all but one is extinct in each. The rest redirect to the article about the only known species, alive or dead, and are not really articles about genera. In these, each redirect (See for example has a note saying "This is a redirect from the scientific name of an organism to the vernacular ("common") name. For more information follow the category link" and each belongs to Category:Monotypic_mammal_genera and Category:Canines.
So it seems that all is as it should be.
But wait: any reader of these words, if you would like to please imagine with me another way of doing things.
What would be wrong with turning the monotypic genera into genus articles as well? Imagine what each of these said (X) is a monotypic genus of canid, consisting of just one known species, (link). It could also have a hatnote sending them to the monotypic species article. Then, everyone interested in that species would just click on that and that would be all. The article should say (in other, more appropriate language of course) that, although there is only one species as far as we know, reason dictates that there might have or must have been others, although no fossils have yet been found, and may never be, but nevertheless it could well happen that more may be found tomorrow and so it's not exactly correct to say that, for example Cerdocyon = Cerdocyon thous. It could then go on to say such things about the genus such as others do, but that's ok, because if little known little should be said.
This idea, or something like it, may not be absolutely necessary and entail some work, but note that it would conform better to WP:PRECISION and at least in my estimation would be a fine improvement to the system, because it's not really true that a monotypic genus is the same thing as it's only species, and we don't want to leave the reader with that false impression. So even if we don't embark on such a project, we should reconsider whether our rules should prohibit such a thing as they apparently do. Chrisrus (talk) 04:31, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, not helpful for a genus page to be merged into a family page, unless the genus is the only one in the family, which is not the case here, and how are these 2 articles have the same material? They are very different, and all Canidae genuses have an article. Editor abcdef (talk) 00:11, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, - eh, no. Guess is just a 1 April joke. Remove tag. Hafspajen (talk) 08:57, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, - thanks for the explanation, Hafspajen. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
There appears to be one Oppose based on an unwritten business rule, two Oppose because a serious proposal was regarded as some sort of joke, and two uncommitted so I will let this matter rest. The only joke here is a page of uncited statements that has been around since at least 2004 and has not progressed beyond Start class, and possibly never will. I stumbled upon this quiet backwater of Wikipedia completely by accident, stated my perceptions - that are neither right nor wrong - and will now return to the pages of my interest and not return here again. Thanks for your time. William Harristalk • 23:34, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Comment - In that case take it as a serious taxonomic oppose. We do not merge genus with family. Also Wikipedia is built on WP:Consensus, that is good to remember. You said you stumbled upon this quiet backwater of Wikipedia completely by accident. It is not quite a Wikipedia backwater, and many of your changes, proposals and edits were watched and noticed, and some were ... were a bit controversial. Hafspajen (talk) 09:16, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Also serious taxonomic oppose - it is useful, very useful to have a page that talks about the family, and a separate one that talks about the Canis genus. If I understand your cryptic "that was not my point", you are suggesting that nobody wants to know about the genus Canis who doesn't also want to know about the family Canidae. I dispute that. Pet dogs are familiar. Someone is likely to want to know about the close relatives of domestic dogs, who doesn't necessarily want to know about more distant relatives such as foxes and raccoon dogs. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Comment - I think the problem here is that although the Canidae article has the "good article" template, it has become rather a mess. I've made some changes to try to clarify. I also think that the section about the results of DNA analysis doesn't belong at the start, separating the lead from the more general information in the following sections. I think that article needs to go through the "good article" nomination process again, with a number of people working to make it more readable. (Getting the required people involved may be difficult however, because far from being a "quiet backwater" of wikipedia, anything related to dogs is such a battleground that many interested persons have removed all such pages from their watchlists.) Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Sentence slightly inaccurate[edit]

"Canis species too small to attract the word "wolf" are called coyotes in the Americas and jackals elsewhere." Since coyotes and golden jackals are slightly larger or at least the same size as Ethiopian wolves, this is slightly inaccurate, furthermore, coyotes and G. jackals also look more "wolf-like" than E. "wolves". Editor abcdef (talk) 05:30, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

That sentence looks like someone's personal interpretation, i.e., WP:OR. I'd vote to remove it and some subsequent material. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
You have to be a big Canis species for English-speakers to call you "wolf". C. simensis is long-legged and taller than those the language call "jackal", but smaller-bodied than those we call "wolf", so the language has been confused about whether to call it a jackal or a wolf. Experts recently have decided to go with "wolf" because it's genetically closer to the wolf than to anything we call a jackal. Chrisrus (talk) 16:56, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Needs a citation. Actually, I think common name comes into that, that it isn't just the "experts" who decide what something is called (except in ornithology, of course). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 18:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Experts recently have decided to go with "wolf" because it's genetically closer to the wolf than to anything we call a jackal. How about golden jackals, they are closer to C. lupus, both physically and genetically. Editor abcdef (talk) 00:26, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Should dhole and African wild dog be included?[edit]

Based on figure 10 of phylogeny of canid species (2005), dholes and AWDs are in the same greater branch with grey wolves, coyotes, golden jackals, and Ethiopian wolves, while black backed and side striped jackals are in a separate branch, shouldn't the primitive jackals be excluded and the "wild dogs" be included? Editor abcdef (talk) 05:44, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Hmmm. Well, wikipedia has to follow sources which define what is included in the genus Canis, but that cladogram needs to be redrawn with a superimposed shape showing what parts are included within the genus Canis, and needs another citation to a source that gives the circumscription. If dhole and African wild dog are removed, the diagram wouldn't be a cladogram. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:50, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
This taxonomy is much older than Darwin and based on teeth and such, not on how they are related on the evolutionary tree. Some clades match up with taxonomy, but this one doesn't. Check out the felids, for example. Chrisrus (talk) 16:49, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I've drawn a replacement diagram. Perhaps someone with artistic skills would like to polish it? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 00:22, 5 April 2015 (UTC)