Subspecies of wolves.

Dogs' Ancestors.

The Genus Wolves (Lupus) includes wolves, coyote, jackals, wild and domestic dogs - are the biggest representatives of the wolf family. Besides, foxes, arctic foxes, raccoon dogs and maned wolves all belong to this family. Wolves, as well as their dog relatives, are very quick-witted and easily give in to training. Besides every wolf has its particular character: there are among them cautious and audacious, modest and leaders, one keep in the wolf society freely and easy, and others are not seen and noiseless.

Is the wolf - big?

"Big" is not quite suitable definition for the wolf. Usually the male-wolf weighs about 50 kg, she-wolf - has 5 kg less. Their height at the shoulder is about 75 centimeters, and length from nose to tag reaches 1,5 - 2 meters. Though there are descriptions of species up to 92 and even 96 kg in weight and height at the shoulder about a meter, but these are outstanding species.



Life in a pack.
Wolves are public animals, they live in families. Any pack has its hierarchy and everyone has its place there. The wolf pack - a group of the animals connected by relationship and mutual sympathy - is headed by a he-wolf and she-wolf. Other members are their posterity (from tiny cubs up to 2-3 years youth). Usually the wolf family consists of 6 - 7, less often - up to 15 species. The strongest wolf in the pack becomes the leader.
She-wolf helps him to rule. Leaders should possess strong character to override others. All the decisions, concerning pack's life are made by this pair. In a pack where the order is kept by the leader wolves usually do not fight against each other. However they often fight with strangers or with lone wolves that have broken border of property. Each wolf pack hunts only in its territory. Leaders strictly protect and mark it, warning neighbours, that they should stall off. Any unbidden guest will be punished. In big pack often happens so, that all congeners bay a wolf. Sometimes outcast wolf can't stand this, and he has to leave the pack.

Why an unsociable person is name a lone wolf? Because he reminds a wolf who has left his pack and lives in itself. Eventually there are changes in pack. Applicants for a role of the leader remain in the pack and wait for their time. Other wolves, having matured, leave to wander alone. But they can create their pack too if they will be lucky to meet with lonely she-wolf. If he and she-wolf want to rule a pack, they should bend in their will all other members and force them to carry out their laws implicitly. The leader dominates above males of the pack, and his she-wolf keeps order among other she-wolves. Leaders constantly remind their "subordinates", who the master in the pack is: they growl on them, bite, bay them and even knock down, preferring to make this on all pack's eyes. One severe, intent leader's or his she-wolf's stare is enough to obey those whom it was intended for. Toadly grinning, wolves fall on the ground, and then if it will be possible, stealthily escape. Sometimes they lay down on their back, as though speaking: we know who the master is here. Wolf's position in the pack is clear on a tail: leaders have it highly lifted, their "subordinates'" tail is lowered, and those who are on the lowest place in the wolf family draw in their tails. Members of pack show their love and respect to the leader in salutatory ceremony. They come nearer to the leader or to his she-wolf crawling with pressed ears and sleeked hair lick and cautiously bite his muzzle.
Wolves are one of the most faithful animals; they strongly become attached to their comrades in pack. They express their feelings via mimicry and movements of the body. "Wolf language" rallies pack and helps to act together. In inflow of tenderness wolves lick each other and rub muzzles. A wolf needs his tail also to express his feelings. If his tail is up and its tag is a little bend, it means, that the wolf is quite self-assured. A friendly adjusted wolf has his tail lowered, but its tag looks upwards. The wolf with the drawn in tail is afraid of something, or in this way he informs about his sympathy. By the way, wolves' muzzles are very expressive. Been frightened, the wolf presses his ears and imitates a smile. The furious wolf shows his teeth and turns his upright ears forward. Having felt danger, he turns ears back, bares his teeth and puts out his tongue. Comrades understand, how to behave to keep peace in the pack.

Born hunters.
Wolves are created by the nature for hunting. In the winter wolves leave on a snow an accurate chain of traces - they put their hind legs exactly behind their forelegs. Thanks to such step they can run on any locality and even on a deep snow. The wolf's weapon is his teeth. There are 42 of them in his mouth. 4 sharp curved 5 cm fangs jut out - two of them from above and others from below. The wolf can bite with them through a thick victim's skin. And the adult wolf's predatory, or carnivorous teeth - so named molars of all predators - can crack even a thigh-bone of an elk. A hunter needs a keen hearing and wolves have it. Having caught a noise, they turn their ears and determine the source of sound. It can be in several kilometers from them. Wolves hunt almost silently, as they run on the tips of fingers. Just as horses and cats, the wolf does not touch the ground with his heel. He has strong brawny legs and wide gait, and he can trot long with a speed of 9 km/h, and in a pursuit of deers and elks he can take a run up to 60 km/h. On hunting the nose, instead of ears or the eyes, first prompts wolves where they have to search for prey. Downwind they catch a smell of even the smallest animal which is being in 1-2 kilometers from them when it is not heard and seen yet. Because of their keen sense of smell wolves can pursue a prey on its traces. Wolf's up to 8 centimeters long thick fur protects him from frost. The layer of fur nearest to the body is a underfur, but external is formed of rigid, long, black on the ends guard hairs. They push away water, and the underfur does not become wet. In such cloak with fur undercoat wolf is not afraid of the bad weather.



The pack on hunting.
Wolves are carnivorous (predatory) animals. They hunt in groups. Sometimes a small animal - a beaver, a rabbit, a mouse or a bird is enough to a hungry wolf to be sated. But this is not enough for all pack; it needs a big prey - a deer, an elk or a ram. Not in vain they are called 'cleaners' - as a rule, their preys become old, sick or inexperienced animals. The center of disease disappears with a sick animal; if an old animal is killed - young and strong ones get more food. Such biological regulation of population furthers strong, healthy animals' survival, both among hunters, and among their possible victims. Though wolves are considered ruthless, only each their tenth hunting terminates in success.
Sometimes having spent three days on tracing and prosecution of herd of deers or elks, wolves manage to kill only several animals. Why? Swift-footed deers can escape, and elks - to give worthy repulse: these 600-kilogram giants with sharp horns and heavy hoofs can easily break wolf's skull. Wolves can do without food two weeks but if they had a lucky hunting they eat to repletion. An adult wolf can eat up to 10 kg of meat at a stretch! Sometimes wolves hide a part of leftover meat in reserve - they take it in a pit and throw something at it. In case of unsuccessful hunting they will return to this hiding place and will dig their hidden dinner out.

Wolf games and entertainments.
Wolves not always hunt, growl and are furious. The first thing that a wolf will make, having filled a stomach, - will curl himself up into a ball and will take a good nap. Having woken up, he will gambol with pleasure. When he wants to play, he invites his relatives to join him: low dropping to forepaws to the ground, he comes nearer to them, starts to jump here and there … just like a dog.

And finally: wolves and people.
Who is not afraid of the malicious wolf? Since our childhood we listen to fairy tales and we watch cartoons in which the wolf is a terrible and furious predator … Actually cases when wolves really attacked people are extremely rare. Moreover: to the person if only he not s skilled wolf hunter, in general it is the extremely difficult to trace a wolf in a taiga - wolves avoid meetings with people. But, despite of this, people ruthlessly wipe them out.

LONG TIME AGO WOLVES LIVED IN ALL NORTHERN AMERICA, EUROPE AND ASIA. BUT THERE REMAINED FEW OF THEM BECAUSE OF THEIR SYSTEMATIC EXTERMINATION.

Subspecies of wolves



Home

Subspecies of wolves