The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Recently, California's last known Gray Wolf pack had a litter. This is important because Gray Wolves have been on the decline in many areas. Let's take a look at the Gray Wolf and see what we can learn about them.
Physical Description and Behavior
The gray wolf is the largest member of the Canidae family, with males weighing about 40 kg (88 lb) and females 37 kg (82 lb). When it comes to their height, these wolves are about 105–160 cm (41–63 in) long and 80–85 cm (31–33 in) at shoulder height. Compared to other canines, their ears are less pointy and their muzzle is flatter.
While most of their diet consists of hoofed herbivorous animals, gray wolves are not picky. In some parts of the world, their diet may consist of mainly marine animals. They are also known to eat fruits, berries, and vegetables to help aid with digestion. These include figs, apples, blueberries, and even grass. When times are tough, they can even be seen eating carrion.
Wolves are also very territorial and create territories that are far larger than they need to have to survive. This helps when resources are scarce. They travel in packs, but sometimes, lone wolves will break off to join another pack, or to form their own.
Habitat and Location
The gray wolf can survive in a variety of habitats, from forests to arctic tundras. They live mainly in the northern hemisphere, including North America, Greenland, much of Europe, Russia, and Asia. They did once live in Japan but are now extinct there.
Due to the gray wolf being widespread and having stable numbers, the IUCN Red List considers it to be of Least Concern. But this does not mean that in certain areas, such as in California, they are not endangered.
Watch the video below to learn more about this legendary animal: