Wolf Education [Recommended Reading]

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Wolf Education [Recommended Reading]

Post  RaiWolf on Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:41 pm

SIZE

  • In general, height varies from 0.6 to .95 meters and (26–38 inches) at the shoulder.
    Grey wolves are sexually dimorphic, with females in any given wolf population typically weighing 20% less than males.
  • Females also have narrower muzzles and foreheads; slightly shorter, smoother furred legs; and less massive shoulders.
  • Gray wolves can measure anywhere from 1.3 to 2 meters (4.5–6.5 feet) from nose to the tip of the tail, which itself accounts for approximately one quarter of overall body length


SPEED
  • Gray wolves rely on their stamina rather than speed for hunting. Their narrow chests and powerful backs and legs facilitate efficient locomotion.
  • They are capable of covering several miles trotting at about a pace of 10 km/h (6 mph), and have been known to reach speeds approaching 65 km/h (40 mph) during a chase.


FUR
  • Wolves have bulky coats consisting of two layers. The first layer is made up of tough guard hairs that repel water and dirt. The second is a dense, water-resistant undercoat that insulates. The undercoat is shed in the form of large tufts of fur in late spring or early summer (with yearly variations).
  • A wolf will often rub against objects such as rocks and branches to encourage the loose fur to fall out.


PUPS

  • Generally, mating occurs between January and April.
  • The gestation period lasts between 60 and 63 days.
  • The pups weigh 0.5 kg (1 lb) at birth.
  • The average litter size is 5-6 pups.
  • The pups reside in the den and stay there for two months.
  • The den is usually on high ground near an open water source, and has an open chamber at the end of an underground or hillside tunnel that can be up to a few meters long. During this time, the pups will become more independent, and will eventually begin to explore the area immediately outside the den before gradually roaming up to a mile away from it at around 5 weeks of age.
  • They begin eating regurgitated foods after 2 weeks of feeding on milk.
  • By this time, their milk teeth have emerged — and are fully weaned by 10 weeks.
    During the first weeks of development, the mother usually stays with her litter alone, but eventually most members of the pack will contribute to the rearing of the pups in some way. After two months, the restless pups will be moved to a rendezvous site, where they can stay safely while most of the adults go out to hunt. One or two adults stay behind to ensure the safety of the pups. After a few more weeks, the pups are permitted to join the adults if they are able, and will receive priority on anything killed, their low ranks notwithstanding. Letting the pups fight for eating privileges results in a secondary ranking being formed among them, and allows them to practice the dominance/submission rituals that will be essential to their future survival in pack life.During hunts, the pups remain ardent observers until they reach about 8 months of age, by which time they are large enough to participate actively.


MATURITY
  • Wolves typically reach sexual maturity after two or three years, at which point many of them will be compelled to leave their birth packs and seek out mates and territories of their own.
  • Wolves that reach maturity generally live 6 to 10 years in the wild.



BEHAVIOR
  • Wolves typically attempt to conceal themselves as they approach their prey. Often, they will wait for the prey to graze, when it is distracted If the prey animal stands its ground or confronts the pack, the wolves will approach and threaten it. The wolves will eventually leave if their prey does not run, though the length of time can range from hours to days.
  • If their prey attempts to flee, the wolves will give chase. Female wolves tend to be better at chasing prey than males, while the latter are more adept at wrestling large prey to the ground once it is caught.


EXPRESSIONS

  • Dominance – A dominant wolf stands stiff legged and tall. The ears are erect and forward, and the hackles bristle slightly. Often the tail is held vertically and curled toward the back. This display asserts the wolf's rank to others in the pack. A dominant wolf may stare at a submissive one, pin it to the ground, "ride up" on its shoulders, or even stand on its hind legs.
  • Submission (active) – During active submission, the entire body is lowered, and the lips and ears are drawn back. Sometimes active submission is accompanied by muzzle licking, or the rapid thrusting out of the tongue and lowering of the hindquarters. The tail is placed down, or halfway or fully between the legs, and the muzzle often points up to the more dominant animal. The back may be partly arched as the submissive wolf humbles itself to its superior; a more arched back and more tucked tail indicate a greater level of submission.
  • Submission (passive) – Passive submission is more intense than active submission. The wolf rolls on its back and exposes its vulnerable throat and underside. The paws are drawn into the body. This posture is often accompanied by whimpering.
  • Anger – An angry wolf's ears are erect, and its fur bristles. The lips may curl up or pull back, and the incisors are displayed. The wolf may also arch its back, lash out, or snarl.
  • Fear – A frightened wolf attempts to make itself look small and less conspicuous; the ears flatten against the head, and the tail may be tucked between the legs, as with a submissive wolf. There may also be whimpering or barks of fear, and the wolf may arch its back.
  • Defensive – A defensive wolf flattens its ears against its head.
  • Aggression – An aggressive wolf snarls and its fur bristles. The wolf may crouch, ready to attack if necessary.
  • Suspicion – Pulling back of the ears shows a wolf is suspicious. The wolf also narrows its eyes. The tail of a wolf that senses danger points straight out, parallel to the ground.
  • Relaxation – A relaxed wolf's tail points straight down, and the wolf may rest sphinx-like or on its side. The wolf may also wag its tail. The further down the tail droops, the more relaxed the wolf is.
  • Tension – An aroused wolf's tail points straight out, and the wolf may crouch as if ready to spring.
  • Happiness – As dogs do, a wolf may wag its tail if in a joyful mood. The tongue may roll out of the mouth.
  • Hunting – A wolf that is hunting is tensed, and therefore the tail is horizontal and straight.
  • Playfulness – A playful wolf holds its tail high and wags it. The wolf may frolic and dance around, or bow by placing the front of its body down to the ground, while holding the rear high, sometimes wagged. This resembles the playful behavior of domestic dogs.


- I n f o r m a t i o n v i a W i k i p e d i a . c o m
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Re: Wolf Education [Recommended Reading]

Post  EndlessStars on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:41 pm

Thank you for mentioning that RaiWolf, now i understand more facts about wolves, that really helped me!
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