January 14, 2017. The Wolf to Woof exhibit is open in the Virginia Living Museum’s changing gallery from now until May 14, 2017. This hands-on interactive exhibit explores the diversity of canines from around the world as well as the role of dogs in human societies.
Appearing in the fossil record about 40 million years ago, dogs are the earliest known carnivores. Shown here is an artist’s rendition of a dire wolf:
Our fascination with dogs began thousands of years ago. Prehistoric art from South Africa dating back to about 500 BC shows dogs as our hunting companions:
Today there are 35 species of canines found on every continent except Antarctica. Canines are found in diverse habitats, from the grasslands of South America where maned wolves roam…
…to the frozen tundras of the northern hemisphere where the diminutive Arctic fox can blend into its surroundings:
Canine species range in size from the larger gray wolf, weighing upwards to 170 pounds…
…to the small but powerful South American bush dog that weighs less than 20 pounds but hunts in packs to bring down much larger prey such as tapirs that can weigh over 600 pounds!
Though canines are famous for being pack hunters…
…some members of the dog family prefer to hunt alone. This bat-eared fox uses its terrific sense of hearing to hunt mostly for insects:
Our companions the domestic dogs have many roles in our societies and have even been know to save our lives–if you were buried in snow by an avalanche I bet this is one face you’d be glad to see!
But, no matter what their role in our society, or their place in our hearts, there is no doubt there is a little bit of wolf in your woof!