Gray wolves, also known as timber wolves are canines with bushy, long tails that tend to be black-tipped. The coat color of theirs is usually mixed between brown and gray with the appearance of buffy markings on their faces and undersides however, the color may differ from pure white to black or brown. Gray wolves resemble the size of a German shepherd. Wolves differ in size based the region they reside in. The northern wolves tend to be larger than those living in the south. A wolf’s body ranges from three to five feet in length and their tails can be between one and two feet long. Females weigh between 60 and 100 pounds, while males weigh between 70 and 145 pounds.
What is gray wolf?
Wolves are famous for their pulsating howl that they employ for communication. A lone wolf can be heard howling to draw the attention of his pack while collective howls can send territorial messages between packs. Certain howls can be confrontational. Similar to barking domestic dogs Wolfs may begin to howl because another wolf has already started.
Conservation and population
Wolves are the most populous members in the family of dogs. Gray wolves that are adaptable are by far the most widespread and were once seen all across all of the Northern Hemisphere. However, humans and wolves have a long and enduring adversarial time. Although they rarely attack humans, wolves are thought of as to be among the world’s most terrifying natural villains. They can attack domestic animals, and numerous animals have been killed, trapped, or poisoned due to this behavior.
The lower 48 US states of America, the gray wolves had been hunted until close to extinction, but some populations survived, and some are now being reintroduced. Gray wolves are rare in Europe however, many are within Alaska, Canada, and Asia.
Wolf pack behavior
Wolves hunt and live in groups of six to 10 animals. They can be seen roaming long distances, sometimes 12 miles in one day. They are social animals that share their favorite prey, large animals like deer, elk, and moose. If they succeed, they do not consume food in moderate amounts. One animal could consume 20 pounds of meat in one time. Wolves also consume smaller animals, birds, snakes, fish, lizards and fruits.
Wolfpacks are arranged in an orderly hierarchy, with the dominant male on top, and his female mate just in the back. The male and female are the only members of the pack that breed. The pack’s adult members assist in caring for the young puppies by feeding them and watching them as others hunt.
Wolves are part of groups. The majority of packs comprise between four and nine members, however, the size of a pack can vary from as little as two wolves up to up to 15. Sometimes, a pack will grow to 30 members, or until certain individuals split off to explore new territories and create their own group.
Within the hierarchy of the pack, there are female and male hierarchy. The male who is the alpha dominates over all the pack members, both females and males. Males and females who are alpha are the only ones to breed.
As young adults reach 3 years old, they may either join in with the group or go off to discover their own place. The new territory could be within a short distance if there are plenty of prey. In certain areas young adults can journey hundreds of miles to discover a new area.
Wolves usually mate for the rest of their lives. In the northwestern United States, they breed between late January and March. The breeding season starts earlier for wolves who live further south. Wolves can be pregnant for around the length of 63 days, and typically give birth to between four and six pups.
The wolf pups are typically born in the den. When they are born, they can’t see or hear , and weigh around 1 pounds. They are weaned at approximately six weeks. Adult pack members eat meat , then bring it back to the den to feed their pups. After the adults eat their food intake, pups enjoy an energizing dinner. The mother wolf takes the pups around to different dens every few months, until fall, which is when the pack ceases to live in dens. Wild wolves can live for between 8 and 13 years old and sometimes even longer. In captivity, they can live up to 15 years.
5 FUN FACTS
1. Gray wolves are the biggest ever living canine wild species.
2. Wolves are the ancestral ancestor to all of our domestic dogs, from bulldogs to poodles, to greyhounds.
3. Wolf packs typically hunt in a specific territory that can span between 50 sq miles (129 square kilometers) up to more than 1000 sq miles (2,590 square kilometers).
4. Wolves typically travel at 5 miles (8 kilometers) in an hour, however they can travel at speeds of up to forty miles (64 kilometers) in an hour.
5. Wolves howl to strengthen the bonds of their pack and warn others wolf packs to keep away. However, contrary to popular myth, wolves don’t roar at the moon.