What is a wolf?
A: The wolf, also known as the gray wolf, timber wolf, western wolf, and its other subspecies is a canine native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America.
It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging what weight?
A: 95–99 lb.
What is the average weight of the females?
A: 79–85 lb.
Like the red wolf, it is distinguished from other Canis species by its what?
A: Larger size and less pointed features, particularly on the ears and muzzle.
Its winter fur is long and bushy and predominantly what
A: Mottled gray.
The gray wolf is the second most specialized member of the genus Canis, after what?
A: The Ethiopian wolf.
It is a social animal,
traveling in what?
A: Nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring.
The gray wolf is typically what type of predator throughout its range?
A: An apex predator, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it.
It feeds primarily on what?
A: Large ungulates, though it also eats smaller
animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage.
A seven year-old wolf is considered to be what?
A: Relatively old, and the maximum lifespan is about 16 years.
What is the global gray wolf population estimated to be?
It has a long history of association with whom?
Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on
people have been attributed to what?
A: Animals suffering from rabies.
Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is what?
A: Rare, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds.
There are how many subspecies of Canis lupus listed under the designated common name of "wolf" in Mammal Species of the World third edition that was published in
The nominate subspecies is the Eurasian wolf, also known as the what?
A: Common wolf.
The subspecies includes the what?
A: Domestic dog, dingo, eastern wolf and red wolf.
The evolution of the wolf occurred over a geologic time scale of at least how many years?
A: 300 thousand years.
Studies of modern gray wolves have identified distinct what?
A: Sub-populations that live in close proximity to each other.
It was once thought that dogs and gray wolves did not voluntarily what?
A: Interbreed in the wild, though they can produce fertile wolf-dog offspring.
In 2010, a study of 74 Italian wolf male lineages found that 5 of them originated from what?
A: Dog ancestry, indicating that female wolves will breed with stray male dogs in the wild.
In North America, black colored wolves acquired their coloration from what?
A: Wolf-dog hybridization, which occurred 10,000–15,000 years ago.
Like pure wolves, hybrids breed once annually, though their mating season occurs when?
A: Three months earlier, with pups mostly being born in the winter period, thus lessening their chances of survival.
However, one genetic study undertaken in the Caucasus Mountains showed that as many as 10% of dogs in the area, including livestock guardian dogs, are what?
A: First generation hybrids.
The captive breeding of wolf-dog hybrids has proliferated where?
A: In the United States, where there is an estimated population of 300,000.
The gray wolf has interbred extensively with the eastern wolf producing a hybrid population termed what?
A: Great Lakes boreal wolves.
Unlike the red and eastern wolf, the gray wolf does not readily what?
A: Interbreed with coyotes.
Nevertheless, coyote genetic markers have been found in what?
A: In some wild isolated gray wolf populations in the southern United States.
In 2013, a captive breeding experiment in Utah between gray wolves and western coyotes produced six hybrids through artificial insemination, making this the what?
A: The first hybridization case between pure coyotes and northwestern gray wolves.
At six months of age, the hybrids were closely monitored and were shown to display what?
A: Both physical and behavioral characteristics from both species.
Compared to its closest wild cousins (the coyote and golden jackal), the gray wolf is what?
A: Larger and heavier, with a broader snout, shorter ears, a shorter torso and longer tail.
It is a slender, powerfully built animal with a large, deeply descending ribcage, a sloping back and a heavily muscled what?
The wolf's legs are moderately longer than those of other canids, which enables the animal to do what?
A: Move swiftly, and allows it to overcome the deep
snow that covers most of its geographical range.
The ears are relatively small and what?
The gray wolf usually carries its head at the same level as the what?
A: Back, raising it only when alert.
It usually travels at what pace?
A: A loping pace, placing its paws one directly in front of the other.
This gait can be maintained for hours at what rate of speed?
A: 5.0–5.6 mph.
It allows the wolf to do what?
A: Cover great distances.
On bare paths, a wolf can quickly achieve speeds of what?
A: 31–37 mph.
The gray wolf has a running gait of how fast?
A: 34–43 mph.
It can leap 16 ft. horizontally in a what?
A: Single bound.
It can maintain rapid pursuit for at least how long?
A: 20 minutes.
Tibetan gray wolves, which occupy territories up to 3,000 above sea level, have evolved
hearts that what?
A: Withstand the low oxygen levels.
The gray wolf’s teeth are heavy and large, being better suited to “what", than those of other extant canids?
A: Crushing bone.
The gray wolf has very dense and fluffy what?
A: Winter fur, with short underfur and long, coarse guard hairs.
Most of the underfur and some of the guard hairs are what?
A: Shed in the spring and grow back in the autumn period.
The longest hairs occur where?
A: On the back, particularly on the front quarters and neck.
Wolf fur provides better insulation than what?
A: Dog fur, and does not collect ice when warm breath is condensed against it.
In warm climates, the fur is coarser and scarcer than in what?
A: Northern wolves.
Where do older wolves generally have more white hairs?
A: In the tip of the tail, along the nose and on the forehead.