An elongated snout, sharp teeth, thick fur, long legs, narrow chests, pliable paws and an expressive furry tail altogether make up a ‘Grey Wolf’. It is known as the largest wild member of the canine family. Designed to hunt for meat, the Grey Wolf spends most of its time roaming tirelessly in search of large prey. Let us learn some interesting facts about this distant relative of the domestic dog.
1. The Grey Wolf (Canis Lupus) is a mammal and has common ancestors with dogs. Grey wolves are mostly found in cold countries. Their bulky, wooly fur protects them from cold weather.
2. Grey wolves stand from 0.6 to 0.9 meters tall and weigh about 25 to 65 kg. Like all other wild animals, they rely on their senses. The wolves use these senses to hunt and communicate with other wolves. They can hear another wolf howling from at least 3 to 4 miles away. Their sense of smell is 100 times keener than a human’s.
3. Capable of running about 35 to 40 miles per hour, the Grey Wolf’s paws provide support in the snow. Grey wolves raise their heads only when alert, and usually carry their heads at the same level as their backs. This meat-eating animal could eat almost anything – from deer, rabbits and rodents to elk, yak, moose and sheep.
4. The Grey Wolf is a social animal. Irrespective of the number of members in one group, wolves will stay together. The group is known as the pack and is ruled by a powerful male wolf. Interestingly, the wolves hunt together, play together and even howl together. Overall, the pack is strongly hierarchically organized.
5. Another significant fact is that the wolves are basically color blind, and their pups are born deaf and blind. They begin to see only after 9 to 12 days. With a fast growth rate, these pups’ weight will increase nearly 30 times in their first four months.
Wolves are not yet thought to be at risk of extinction, but their local population is still threatened. Not only are they hunted but they are also gaining popularity as pets. Their hunting should be restricted and we should also try not to damage their habitat, in order to safeguard their future.