Canidae | Canines
Canidae, or canines, are vertebrate dog-like creatures with long muzzles, upright ears, sharp teeth, long legs, and bushy tails. The Canidae family includes foxes, wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Canines are one of the earliest domesticated species, being the family that the domestic, and beloved, dog hails from. Canidae are native to every continent, except Australia and Antarctica, and are absent on most oceanic islands. Canines are naturally carnivores, but some have been known to feed on carrion or plant matter. Canidae have a history of being hunted and trapped for their pelts, and many are still hunted today to protect livestock or control populations.
The reason why canines howl varies on their species. Wolves howl to communicate with other wolves to claim their territory, warn others to stay away, find pack members while they are apart, and maintain relationships within their pack. Jackals howl to guard off intruders or to maintain contact with family members. Dogs howl to seek attention from their owners.
Canines typically have 42 teeth including incisors, and fang-shaped teeth that are called canines. These teeth are used to kill prey. Their premolar teeth are narrow and sharp, while their molar teeth have broad surfaces to allow them to bite down on hard materials.
Although dogs and wolves are related to one another, there are various differences between them. Dogs were considered to be a different species until recently. Scientists now believe dogs are a sub-species of wolves. Dogs and wolves differ in their appearance (eye color, head size, coats and jaws), behaviors, domestication, and vocal noises.