The scientific name for the Wolf is the Canis Lupus.
Wolves and humans evolved during more or less the same
period. The wolf is the is the ancestor of all domestic
The habitat of the wolf varies from arctic tundra,
plains, savannas and forests.The main threat to wolves
is loss of their natural habitat. Wolves vary in color
from almost white as in the colder regions to yellowish-brown
or black in the more southern regions.
The wolf is the largest of all the wild canids. North
American wolves can weigh anywhere from 40 to 175 lbs.
North American wolf is 4.6-6.6 feet from nose to the
tip of their tail. A wolf’s thick coat allow them to
withstand the extreme temperatures common in the Winter
in the Northern Hemisphere. Wolves have large paws 4
inches wide 5 inches long. Wolves have five claws on
the front feet and four feet on the back feet. Wolves
have long legs and walk or run on their toes.
The average travel speed of a wolf is 5 mph. While
Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals, wolves take off
much more slowly but can overtake a Cheetah, because
the Cheetah will wear out quicker. Wolves are distance
runners and can keep going for much longer at their
slower pace of approximately 37 mph.
A wolf’s sense of smell is 100 times greater than a
human. Wolves are opportunistic hunters and always on
the lookout for weaker animals to attack.Wolves have
42 teeth. Wolves have extremely powerful jaws that can
generate 1500 psi of pressure, their jaws can crush
bones of their prey. Although wolves will work together
to bring down prey, it is every wolf for itself when
it comes to eating it.
Wolves have a complex hierarchy and social structure.
There are two hierarchies in a wolf pack, one for females
and one for males. The alpha male is the pack leader.
The omega wolf is the lowest wolf in the pack. Wolves
use body language to communicate, their tail position,
ear position and facial expression can tell the others
in the pack. The wolves have as many as 17 different
facial expressions. When a wolf is showing aggression
it will raise its hackles or the fur on its back to
make it look bigger. A wolf shows submission by dropping
its head or rolling on its back.
Baby wolves are pups. Wolves breed once per year and
the gestation period is 63 days. A wolves litter size
depends on the nutrition and fitness of the female giving
birth but it typically has between 4-11 pups. Pups weigh
only one pound and they cannot see or hear when they
are born. Mortality rates for wolf pups can be as high
as 50%. Young pups are cared for by all members of a
wolf pack. The rest of the pack assists in raising and
guarding the wolf pups. The pack members will even assist
in feeding the litter of pups and the Mom by sharing
When the pups are old enough to travel the pack becomes
nomadic, they will follow migrating herds. As their
prey moves, they too will move. Wolves depend on large
tracts of habitat and substantial populations of their
principal prey to survive.
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals
http://www.wildlife-animals.com an educational wildlife
and animal website. Jacob also guest writes for Dog