Interesting facts about wolves

wolves

Average life span for wolves in the wild up to 13 years in wild (usually 6 to 8 years) up to 16 years in captivity.

Average weight for females is 27 to 36 kilograms (60 to 80 pounds) and for males 30 to 50 kilograms (70 to 110 pounds).

Average height is from 66 to 81 centimeters (26 to 32 inches) at the shoulder

They have gray, black or white fur color.

Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, coyotes, dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.

There are 2 widely recognized species of wolves in the world, the red and the gray. However, there is debate over how many species of wolf exist and if there are different subspecies of the gray wolf.

Wolves are excellent hunters and have been found to be living in more places in the world than any other mammal except humans.

Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another. Some howls are confrontational. Much like barking domestic dogs, wolves may simply begin howling because a nearby wolf has already begun.

Howling wolves

When hunting alone, the wolf catches small animals such as squirrels, hares, chipmunks, raccoons or rabbits. However, a pack of wolves can hunt very large animals like moose, caribou and yaks.

Wolves live and hunt in groups called a pack. A pack can range from two wolves to as many as 20 wolves depending on such factors as habitat and food supply. Most packs have one breeding pair of wolves, called the alpha pair, who lead the hunt.

wolves pack

When the pack kills an animal, the alpha pair always eats first. As food supply is often irregular for wolves, they will eat up to 1/5th of their own body weight at a time to make up for days of missed food.

A male and female that mate usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain sophisticated family ties.

Wolf pups are born deaf and blind while weighing around 0.5 kg (1 lb). It takes about 8 months before they are old enough to actively join in wolf pack hunts.

wolf pup

Though many females in a pack are able to have pups, only a few will actually mate and bear pups. Often, only the alpha female and male will mate, which serves to produce the strongest cubs and helps limit the number of cubs the pack must care for. The other females will help raise and “babysit” the cubs.

A wolf can run at a speed of 65 kph (40 mph)during a chase. Wolves have long legs and spend most of their time trotting at a speed of 12-16 kph (7-10 mph). They can keep up a reasonable pace for hours and have been known to cover distances of 90 kilometers (55 miles) in one night.

wolves running

Wolves can swim distances of up to 13 kilometers (8 miles) aided by small webs between their toes.

Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. Humans have only about 5 million. Wolves can smell other animals more than 1.6 kilometers  (1 mile) away.

Wolves in the Arctic have to travel much longer distances than wolves in the forest to find food and willsometimes go for several days without eating.

A hungry wolf can eat 9 kilograms (20 pounds) of meat in a single meal, which is akin to a human eating 100 hamburgers.

The Cherokee Indians did not hunt wolves because they believed a slain wolves’ brothers would exact revenge.

The Vikings wore wolf skins and drank wolf blood to take on the wolf’s spirit in battle.

The earliest drawings of wolves are in caves in southern Europe and date from 20,000 B.C.

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