The gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf or wolf, is a mammal of the order Carnivora. The gray wolf is the largest wild member of the Canidae family and an ice age survivor originating during the Late Pleistocene around 300,000 years ago. DNA sequencing and genetic drift studies indicate that the gray wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog, (Canis lupus familiaris) and might be its ancestor. A number of other gray wolf subspecies have been identified, though the actual number of subspecies is still open to discussion. Gray wolves are typically apex predators in the ecosystems they occupy. Gray wolves are highly adaptable and have thrived in temperate forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands and urban areas.