Wolf, coyote, fox, domestic dog: what osteological features distinguish them?
This comparative set of four canids was created to demonstrate the differences and similarities within the family Canidae. The diversity in this family is a great area to begin the discussion of evolution and natural selection in the science classroom. Skull features can be compared and contrasted to demonstrate inheritance, modification and variation of traits. Features such as overall size, skull shape, tooth size, size of cheek bones and size of sagittal crest help to distinguish canids from one another. Additionally, each skull can be compared to their prospective habitats, bringing into focus discussions of animal adaptation, animal behavior, ecological and environmental concepts.