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About The Wolf.....

The wolf is generally believed to be an ancestor of the domestic dog. Wolves belong to the dog family Canidae, which also includes the coyote (Canis latrons) and the jackals. There are only two remaining species of wolves today; the gray or timber wolf (Canis lupus), and the red wolf (Canis rufus). These two species consist of thirty-two subspecies, twenty-four of which live in North America. Sadly, between six to eight of these may already be extinct. The timber wolf is the largest member of the dog family, measuring up to 6.5 feet in lenght from nose to tail and from 26 to 36 inches in height at the shoulders. An adult timber wolf can weigh up to 175 lbs. while its counterpart, the red wolf, is generally much smaller and usually weighs no more than 66 lbs. Also, an adult red wolf is shorter in length and height, measuring between 4.5 and 5.5 feet and 2 to 2.5 feet respectively.

The timber wolf is characterized by its beautiful coat of shaggy, gray fur, although they do exhibit black and brown highlights. A pure white coat is common to wolves found in the far north. Conversely, the fur of the red wolf is a reddish-tan color with gray and black highlights. All wolves have slanted eyes and a long head with a wide nose located on their long, pointed snouts. Like their fur, they have long, bushy tails and long legs which enable them to run very fast. The forty-two teeth of the wolf are very sharp, and they also have very strong jaw and neck muscles.

Except for the most arid deserts and the most tropical of forests, wolves once populated most of the northern hemisphere and were among the most widespread mammals outside of the tropics. Today, they are found in substantial numbers only in a few remote regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Wolves are still abundant in Alaska and Canada, but south of Canada there are stable populations located only in Minnesota and Mexico.

The United States government does report, however, that there are small groups of wolves which live on Isle Royale in Lake Superior and in Michigan, Montana, Idaho, and Wisconsin. The timber wolf can live in a variety of habitats ranging from deep forests to arctic tundra as well as all but the highest mountains.

On the other hand, the red wolf was once spread throughout many parts of the United States, but now inhabits only the southeastern United States. Small populations exist in southern Texas and western Louisiana, and isolated groups can be found in southern areas of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and in western parts of Alabama. Red wolves have also been recently released into Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge on Bull Island, South Carolina, and Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. They live mainly in forests, areas rich in swamps, and coastal prairies.

Inside Wolves In The Wild

Wolves In The Wild Home Page
Social Behavior Of The Wolf
Hunting and Selection Of Prey
The Wolf As An Endangered Species
Wild Wolves Photo Gallery
Links To Other Wolf Pages