Canis etruscus
Temporal range: Early Pleistocene
Canis etruscus restoration.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Caniformia
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. apolloniensis
Binomial name
Canis apolloniensis
G.D. Koufos and D.S. Kostopoulos 1997

Canis etruscus or the (the Etruscan wolf) is an extinct species of canid which was endemic to Europe and lived during the Early Pleistocene epoch from 1.81 Mya—781,000 years ago, existing for approximately 1.1 million years. The Etruscan wolf has been described as a wolf-like canid. The Etruscan wolf is widely accepted as the ancestor of C. mosbachensis that is the ancestor of the gray wolf (C. lupus).

#The Canis apolloniensis was likely a short-lived subspecies in geologic timeline when compared to other Canid species. It co-existed with the Eurasian wolf which appeared 1.59 million years earlier at 3.4 Ma. The species; Canis apolloniensis is speculated to be a possible subspecies that was named by Koufos and Kostopoulos 1997. The only fossil reference comes from northern Greece.

The population dispersal of this carnivoran canid species occurred approximately 1.8 million years ago and this coincided with a decrease in precipitation and an increase of annual seasonality which followed the 41,000 year ago. (the amplitude shift of Milankovitch climate cycles) First to arrive was C. etruscus, which was immediately followed by C. arnensis and Lycaon falconeri, and then the giant hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostri. These were all better adapted to open, dry landscapes than the two more primitive canini Eucyon and Nyctereutes that they replaced in Europe. These animals are all competed with eachother just as similiar to our savanna, forest and mountain ecosystems. This species is particularly armed with a fit body, being able to be fast and agile and most important of all; a very strong bite force.


The Actual mouth fossil of the animal; possibly indicating a particularly strong bite force