An elongated snout, sharp teeth, thick fur, long legs, narrow chests, pliable paws and an expressive furry tail altogether make up a ‘Grey Wolf’. It is known as the largest wild member of the canine family. Designed to hunt for meat, the Grey Wolf spends most of its time roaming tirelessly in search of large prey. Let us learn some interesting facts about this distant relative of the domestic dog.
1. The Grey Wolf (Canis Lupus) is a mammal and has common ancestors with dogs. Grey wolves are mostly found in cold countries. Their bulky, wooly fur protects them from cold weather.
2. Grey wolves stand from 0.6 to 0.9 meters tall and weigh about 25 to 65 kg. Like all other wild animals, they rely on their senses. The wolves use these senses to hunt and communicate with other wolves. They can hear another wolf howling from at least 3 to 4 miles away. Their sense of smell is 100 times keener than a human’s.
3. Capable of running about 35 to 40 miles per hour, the Grey Wolf’s paws provide support in the snow. Grey wolves raise their heads only when alert, and usually carry their heads at the same level as their backs. This meat-eating animal could eat almost anything – from deer, rabbits and rodents to elk, yak, moose and sheep.
4. The Grey Wolf is a social animal. Irrespective of the number of members in one group, wolves will stay together. The group is known as the pack and is ruled by a powerful male wolf. Interestingly, the wolves hunt together, play together and even howl together. Overall, the pack is strongly hierarchically organized.
Wolves are not yet thought to be at risk of extinction, but their local population is still threatened. Not only are they hunted but they are also gaining popularity as pets. Their hunting should be restricted and we should also try not to damage their habitat, in order to safeguard their future.
Interesting & Amazing Information on Wolves
- A mated wolf pair usually stays committed for life. Only when one of them dies, does the other look for another mate.
- A wolf is opportunistic and will always attempt to catch the easiest and most vulnerable animal.
- Wolves actually have a low hunting success rate.
- A wolf's sense of smell is more than 100 times greater than that of a human.
- Wolves usually mate during the months of January to April; the higher the latitude, the later the mating time.
- All members of a wolf pack take part in caring for the young ones.
- It is common for wolves to be on move eight to ten hours in a day and a pack may cover distances from 30 to 125 miles in a day.
- The coyote is believed to have evolved from the wolf, over 500,000 years ago.
- Wolves have two types of 'fur coat'. The undercoat (closest to the skin) is soft and keeps the wolf warm, while the overcoat is made up of long hair and acts as a weather barrier.
- Wolves shed their hair in the spring and summer season. However, they shed it out in sheets, unlike most dogs.
- The highest ranking member in a wolf is ‘Alpha wolf’, the second ranking one is ‘Beta wolf’, while the one with the lowest rank is called ‘Omega wolf’.
- There are two hierarchies in a wolf pack, a group of wolves, one for females and one for males.
- The jaws of a wolf are extremely powerful and are capable of generating 1,500 psi pressure.
- The mortality rate in case of wolf puppies can be as high as 50 percent.
- The wolf has one of the widest ranges of size, shape and color of any mammal in North America.
- Wolves communicate with each other more by harmony and integration, rather than aggression and submission.
- Wolf is generally a docile animal, with a strong aversion to fighting and aggression.
- Wolves are territorial and use vocalizations and scent marking to defend their territory.
- Wolves communicate through a number of ways, including scent marks, vocalizations, visual displays, facial and body postures and rituals.
- Wolves howl to greet each other, indicate their location, define their territory or call the pack together.
- Lone wolves have no social territory and rarely scent-mark or howl.
PBS Nature 2007 In the Valley of the Wolves
A Man Among Wolves
Salmon Fishing Wolves of Alaska, Very Rare Footage! wolf vs grizzly bear
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