Blogging Thru the Alphabet – Animals – W is for Wolf

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I’m joining in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series with Through the Calm and Through the Storm as well as Adventures with Jude. I will be having animals as my theme. And sheesh – we are almost done with this round!

Here are my past posts in case you missed them:

A for Aardvark    B for Badger    C for Capybara    D for Dodo    E for Eagles  F for Falcons

G for Giraffe  H for Hedgehog   I for Ibis    J for Jackal   K for Killer Whale   L for Leopard  M for Macaw

N for Nyala   O for Okapi  P for Porcupine  Q for Quetzal  R for Rhinoceros  S for Skunk  T for Termite

U for Uguisu  V for Viper

wolves

Wolf. Scientific Name Canis lupus

Wolves are best known for their howl which they use to communicate in many different ways. They may be a lone wolf looking for his pack or a pack of wolves letting others know of their territory. They may also just be joining another wolf that has already started howling.

Wolves vary in color from all white to all black with all colors in between. The biggest wolves live in Alaska and range from 125 – 135 pounds; the smallest is in Iran at 60 pounds. The wolf has no known natural predators and is thought to live about 10 years in the wild.

Wolves are carnivorous (meaning they eat meat) and they normally hunt large animals, but they will hunt small animals if need be. They normally hunt as a pack for large animal such as moose.

They develop deep bonds with their pack and have even been known to die for one of their pack members. Once they find a mate they normally stay together for life. They do have a hierarchy they establish within their pack and those at the top eat first and the others eat what is left, even if that means they have to wait to eat.

Adaptable gray wolves are the most common and were once found all over the Northern Hemisphere however they are also known to attack domestic animals which has them as one of the most despised animals by humans. MANY have been shot, trapped and poisoned in order to keep them away. In the lower 48 states they were hunted to near extinction.

The red wolf is found in the southeastern United States and they became extinct in the wild in 1980. Scientists have been breeding and reintroducing them in North Carolina and there are now around 100 red wolves in the wild.

Wolves live and hunt in packs of about six to ten.

I thought this was interesting, wolves can interbreed freely with dogs, red wolves, coyotes, and jackals to produce fertile offspring. This is a case of incomplete speciation. There are physical, behavioral, and ecological differences between these species, but they are fully genetically compatible. None of the animals in this group can breed with foxes, which are too far separated genetically.

They have one breeding season per year and that is in the winter. That is so when the cubs are born and finally ready to hunt there will be plenty around for them. It also allows them time to grow and mature before their first winter season where it is more difficult to find food.

I hope you enjoyed learning about these amazing animals as much as I did! Come back next week when we cover the letter X and learn about the Xerus.

Now go check out all the other posts of those who are joining in with Blogging Through the Alphabet. They can post this entire week so make sure to check back and see what has been added!

Enjoy the journey!

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