Represented by well over 100,000 databased elements the dire wolf is the most common large animal found at Rancho La Brea. This may represent up to 3000 individuals. Dire wolf fossils have been found all over North America although it has been noted that specimens from California were smaller and shorter limbed than those from the eastern parts of the United States. Although similar in overall size to the largest of the modern timber wolves, the dire wolf has a much larger head with powerful teeth possibly capable of resorting to bone crushing.
Isolated teeth of the dire wolf are discovered frequently and over 400 dire wolf elements have been excavated from Project 23 alone.