Evolutionary History of Gray Wolves

962 WordsFeb 26, 20184 Pages
Evolutionary History of Gray Wolves The gray wolf is one of the world’s most well known and well researched animals with more documentation on them than any other wildlife species. It is a canid whose main habitats are in the wilderness of remote areas in North America, Eurasia and North Africa. It is the largest member of the wolf family, usually weighing between 70 and 120 lbs, and closely resembles in general appearance and proportions to a modern day breed of dog known as the German Sheppard, although they typically have a larger head, narrower chest, longer legs, straighter tails and bigger paws. The narrow chest of the gray wolf allows for swift and efficient movement through the common elements of their environment such as snow, brush and other conditions. Their larger heads indicate their higher level of intelligence and their large paws, webbed with fur aid in movement across mud and snow. The colour of a gray wolf’s fur lives up to its name and is predominantly a mottled gray although the gray wolf can also have fur that is nearly pure white, mixes of red, brown, or black. Being very social animals, gray wolves do mostly everything in packs of 2 – 15 animals; living, traveling and hunting. They can hunt and feed off smaller game, yet with their large pack size, they can work collectively to bring down large game such as deer, moose or bison. There are 37 recognized subspecies of the gray wolf in total ranging across six continents with familiar names that one
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