Within our society is a mad scientist obsessed with hybridization. His specialty is canids, and he could not get enough of the canid hybrids that had happened in the past--wolfdogs, coywolves, coydogs, jackal-dogs. But there was one element that eluded him--a once-contemporary to the modern wolf, the dire wolf.

And so, illegally, mind you, he traveled back in time to capture two dire wolves--a male and a female. Then he used the male's sperm to artificially inseminate into a female grey wolf, as well as the sperm of a male grey wolf to artificially inseminate into the female dire wolf.

The scientist in question isn't interested in the hybrid children's behaviors, growth rates or even coat colors. All he wants to know is: What would the skeletons of a hybrid between a grey wolf and a dire wolf look like?

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    $\begingroup$ It would be a "kind of Dire Wolf," a "Mildly More Threatening Wolf," or a "semi Dire Wolf." The last one works real well for more diluted versions: a wolf that was 1/16th dire would be a "hemi demi semiquaver Dire Wolf." $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ Not a biologist but the first answer that came to mind: "Something like a wolf" =D But yeah, Halfthawed answer is correct and I can't think of anything more interesting to add. $\endgroup$
    – Nightmayre
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 8:15
  • $\begingroup$ @ShadoCat, depending on which meaning of dire you're using, it comes out as a scruffy wolf, a serious wolf, or an urgent wolf. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ The guild of mad scientists has asked me to revoke your membership, it's not just the unpaid dues (we're still waiting for your first weeks subs, it's been four years already), it's the limited scope of your ambition too, you want to breed a wolf with a (drumroll) 'different' wolf (pauses for tumbleweed to roll by) .. not very impossible or implausible is it? & you've the cheek to call yourself mad .. we call that false advertising ;p $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 4:51

3 Answers 3


The crossbreed would be successful - all members of family Canid have 78 chromosomes, so they can all interbreed. In fact, given the close relationship, the offspring might not even be genetically sterile, given that certain wolf-dog hybrids are, such as Siberian Huskies. And as for the skeleton - it'd look like a gray wolf averaged with that of a dire wolf. The skeletons are basically identical, with the exception of a single bone (the baculum), though as that bone is sex-linked (present in males only), I'd expect it have the Dire Wolf's unique one. (This is a guess, but since the cause of it is unknown, it's not far-fetched to say the reason is on the relevant gene.) Unfortunately, it seems that Canid hybrids don't have the upscale/downscale effect found in Panthera hybrids - that is to say, the fact that a lion/tiger crossbreed can grow up to nine feet. Size would be an average of the two. Not an exciting answer, but science is what it is.

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    $\begingroup$ Also, if the pup is raised by dogs can further alter the outcome. For example, wolves walk in efficient manner, stepping in each other steps and the back paws use the same holes as the front. All to conerve energy. The dogs walk with a different set of footprints. $\endgroup$
    – Gustavo
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 14:31

I'm not sure there would really be much to differentiate the two. The size difference between the two is not that great, though the dire wolf skull is slightly larger and the feet are slightly smaller.

I don't believe looking at a dire wolf skeleton would stand out greatly in comparison with that of other species of Canis.

Dire_wolf (wikipedia)


A largest modern wolves are about 97 cm tall at the shoulders and weigh over 50 kilos (the largest on record was 79 kg). Dire wolves recovered from La Brea range from slightly smaller to slightly larger. There are minor differences in the skull structure, but not enough to be noticeable in a living animal.

So the cross between a dire wolf and a modern wolf...would look like a wolf.


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