Scientific Name: Canis Lupus
Adaptions: Gray wolves' coats are made up of woolly fur and long guard hairs to provide insulation and keep out moisture. Their large paws have fleshy pads and claws for traction and can spread to provide better support in deep snow. Wolves have many adaptations that contribute to their predatory ability, including: 20x the hearing of humans and over 100x sense of smell to locate food sources from miles away, motion sensitive vision with reflective retinas for night vision, jaws with crushing pressure of over 500 lbs/sq.in, and stamina to cover eighteen miles at a time.
Wolves once dominated large areas of North America but have been killed at an extremely fast rate since the early 1930's. The leading threat to wolves is conflict with humans in defense of their livestock. After western expansion across the U.S. led to near extinction of several species that wolves prey upon, such as bison, deer, and elk, wolves began turning to livestock as a source of food. Many farmers view them as dangerous or simply as pests, but wolf predation on livestock is actually uncommon. Human expansion has led to the fragmentation of large portions of wolf habitats. Wolves have also been hunted for their pelts, which are used as scarfs, coats, rugs, and parkas for soldiers during WW2.