Wolves have a highly organized social structure. They live and hunt together as packs, which enables them to hunt and defend their territory effectively. Some packs can be as many as 30 wolves, but then some wolves will break away to form their own breeding packs.
Wolves have 4 main sounds that they use to communicate in different ways – howling, barking, whimpering, and growling. A wolf uses howls to call to each other over great distances; a wolf’s howl can be heard for up to 10 miles away on open terrain.
Interacting In The Pack
Wolves living in a pack have strong emotional bonds with each other. The pack also makes it easier to raise pups, hunt, and defend their territory. They have to communicate with each other in the pack and do this with growls, howls, and body language.
A wolf has a gestation period of 63 days, with the cubs being born pretty much helpless. They can waddle around by about 2 weeks and leave the den for the first time by three weeks. All the members of the pack help to take care of the cubs.
How Fast Are Wolves
Wolves are not usually known for their speed, but rather their endurance. They can run great distances at a speed of about 5 miles per hour. They are, however, faster than a human so it will not help to try and outrun a wolf!
Wolves in Mythology
Wolves feature in the mythology of various nations. There is, for instance, Fenrir, the son of the god Loki and a giantess, Angerboda in Norse mythology. Odin also had two wolves as loyal companions. We all also know stories like Little Red Ridinghood and the Three Little Pigs, that feature a wolf prominently.
Wolves in Conservation
Wolves have a key role in ecosystems and are what is called a keystone species. They keep the populations of deer and elk in check, which in turn have a positive influence on plant species. The carcasses of their prey also help scavengers.
Wolf Cub Food
When wolf cubs are born, they weigh only about one pound but grow very quickly. At first, they only drink mother’s milk, feeding about 4 – 5 times per day. They will open their eyes at about 12 to 15 days and start to move on to other food as well.
Famous Wolves in Books
A werewolf is found in many folklore stories of European countries. Traditionally a werewolf would be a human that turns into a wolf. In the Harry Potter stories, there are two werewolf characters, with very different views on the role of werewolves.
Pleistocene wolves were once found all over the northern hemisphere. They died out about 7,500 years ago. These wolves were quite similar to modern wolves but had a broader and shorter palate.
Very few mammals have symbiotic relationships with other animals. The wolf is an exception, where it tolerates another animal to get part of the kill. It is theorized that in some cases, the majority of the kill is harvested not by the wolf.
There are more than 30 subspecies of Canis lupus recognized, occurring throughout most of the world. Although wolves are considered the ancestors of domestic dogs, wolves and man does not have a good relationship in the wild.
Wolves and People
Wolves have learned to fear people, as hunters will scare them off and even shoot them. Nevertheless, it is possible to come into close quarters with a wolf when hiking or mountain climbing. It is very important to follow the correct procedure, as a wolf can be very dangerous.
The Benefits Of Living In A Pack
A wolf pack can be considered to be a perfect team. They do everything together. They even care for each other and will nurture relationships within the pack.
The Teeth of Wolves
Wolves have massive molars and very powerful jaws. They can easily bite through the femur of a moose, in six to eight bites! This is stronger than most breeds of dogs.
A wolf’s favorite prey is large animals like deer, elk, and moose. They catch these animals as a pack and will feed together. If the animal is too large to eat at a single sitting, they will return again later to finish it off. Wolves can go for as long as two weeks between meals if the prey is scarce.
Wolf Life Expectancy
Wolf pups are born into the pack and are cared for by everyone. Wolves reach maturity at about 2 years when they are ready to mate. Because of their relatively dangerous lifestyle as hunters, some will die quite young, while others can live up to 14 years in the wild.
The Composition of the Wolf Pack
Wolves live together in groups called packs. These packs work together to hunt and raise the pups. Wolves are extremely social animals and a strict hierarchy is followed in the pack.
Wolves are on average about 80 – 100 pounds, which is bigger than the average dog. They are about 30 inches tall (measured at the shoulder). They are also longer than the average dog.
A Wolf’s Senses
A wolf, like other wild animals, relies heavily on its senses for survival. Their senses are all highly developed. They can hear and smell things that we humans can only see on electronic sensors.