Although appearing stronger than regular Wolves at the first glance (especially in-game, where the attack is not shown), Dire Wolves are actually weak compared to their regular counterparts, holding no attack and taking every attack bonus there is. Still, despite having no attack, the Dire Wolf deals one damage per strike due to the damage mechanics of Age of Empires II.
- The Dire Wolf (Canis dirus, lit. "Terrible Dog") is an extinct relative of the Wolf that lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene. Although commonly portrayed as much larger and stronger than the wolf in Medieval Fantasy (e.g. Dungeons and Dragons, Game of Thrones), real dire wolves were similar in size to living wolves. However, they had more robust jaws and were better adapted at crushing bone and killing megafauna, which reduced competition with wolves and made dire wolves the American ecological equivalent of Old World hyenas.
|Animals in Age of Empires II|
|Friendly huntables||Deer · Ostrich · Zebra · Ibex|
|Aggressive huntables||Wild Boar · Javelina · Elephant · Rhinoceros|
|Wild animals||Wolf · Jaguar · Bear · Lion · Crocodile · Tiger · Komodo Dragon · Snow Leopard · Dire Wolf · Rabid Wolf|
|Marine creatures||Shore Fish · Snapper · Tuna · Perch · Salmon · Marlin · Dorado · Dolphin · Box Turtles|
|Herdables||Sheep · Turkey · Cow · Llama · Goat · Pig · Water Buffalo · Goose|
|Other||Horse · Wild Horse · Camel · Wild Camel · Bactrian Camel · Wild Bactrian Camel · Iron Boar · Donkey · Stormy Dog|
|Military||Furious the Monkey Boy · Alfred the Alpaca · Penguin · Flaming Camel|
|Heroes||Ornlu the Wolf · Hunting Wolf · Abraha Elephant|