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YBP to the end of the Last Glacial Maximum was cooler and with a more balanced supply of moisture than today.During the Last Glacial Maximum, the mean annual temperature decreased from 11 °C (52 °F) down to 5 °C (41 °F) degrees, and annual precipitation had decreased from 100 cm (39 in) down to 45 cm (18 in).This range restriction is thought to be due to temperature, prey, or habitat limitations imposed by proximity to the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets that existed at the time.
Ecological factors such as habitat type, climate, prey specialization, and predatory competition have been shown to greatly influence gray wolf craniodental plasticity, which is an adaptation of the cranium and teeth due to the influences of the environment.The dire wolf (Canis dirus, "fearsome dog") is an extinct species of the genus Canis.It is one of the most famous prehistoric carnivores in North America, along with its extinct competitor, the sabre-toothed cat Smilodon fatalis.The largest collection of its fossils has been obtained from the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.
Dire wolf remains have been found across a broad range of habitats including the plains, grasslands, and some forested mountain areas of North America, and in the arid savannah of South America.
Access into northern North America was blocked by the Wisconsin glaciation.