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Canidae (/ˈkænɪd/;[3] from Latin, canis, "dog") is a biological family of dog-like carnivorans, colloquially referred to as dogs, and constitutes a clade. A member of this family is also called a canid (/ˈknɪd/).[4] The family includes three subfamilies: the extant Caninae and the extinct Borophaginae and Hesperocyoninae.[5] The Caninae are known as canines,[6] and include domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals and other extant and extinct species.

Quick facts: Canids Temporal range Late Eocene-Holocene[1...
Temporal range: Late Eocene-Holocene[1]:7
~37.8–0 Ma
10 of the 13 extant canid genera
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Infraorder: Cynoidea
Family: Canidae
Fischer de Waldheim, 1817[2]
Type genus
Linnaeus, 1758
Subfamilies and extant genera

Canids are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size from the 2-metre-long (6.6 ft) gray wolf to the 24-centimetre-long (9.4 in) fennec fox. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. They are mostly social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving cooperatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young are reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. One canid, the domestic dog, originated from a symbiotic relationship with Upper Paleolithic humans and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.