Canidae (coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals and wolves)
Habitat & Range
Gray wolves were once one of the most widely distributed mammals in the world. Due to fear of attack on humans and livestock predation, their range has been reduced significantly. They now inhabit remote areas and wilderness in Canada, Alaska, Europe and Asia.
The gray wolf is covered in dense fur that is highly resistant to cold. They have a short undercoat and long guard hairs that are shed each spring and return in the fall. Coat color ranges from pure white, blonde, black, brown and most commonly, gray. The gray wolf is the largest member of the canidae family with adults averaging 50 inches long, 33 inches tall at the shoulder, and a weight of 80 pounds.
Gray wolves primarily hunt in packs with each individual having a distinct role. They will often alternate pursuing their prey to conserve energy, making it possible to bring down large prey such as moose, bison, or caribou.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Gray wolves are typically monogamous, with mated pairs remaining together for life. Mating season takes place in February and March, with 4 to 7 pups born after a 62 to 75 day gestation period.
Fantastic Fact Talk to the Hand
Wolves have been said to have and elevated level of intelligence. Reports indicate that they can follow the sound of gunshots, wait for hunters to disperse, and feed on the remains of their kill. Several claims indicate that they are capable of being trained by humans and that they respond much better to hand gestures than verbal commands.
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