Gray Wolf

canis lupis

Classification

Domain Eukarya

This animal belongs to the Kingdom Eukarya because it has cells with mitochondria and a nucleus.

They can have sexual reproduction.

Their cells divide by mitosis.

Canidae

Average sized meat eaters, that can be more omnivorous than most carnivores.

They killed many by attacking the neck and shaking the prey hard to break there neck.

There claws do retract like those of felines.

Carnivora

These animals have sharp, large cone shaped upper teeth good for tearing meat off of the bones of there prey.

They look like the teeth of a dog or canine.

These carnivores are considered to be pretty intelligent and they have a good sized brain.

Mammalia

They are described as having a good solid muscled body.

The wolves also have hair that serves as camoflage and protection from predators.

They also have mammary glands that produce milk for there pups.

Vertebrata

They have outer and inner layers of skin that produce hair.

They also have 2 kidneys that help them urinate waste out of the body and internal organs in there body cavity.

They have a vertebrae the gives the body its shape and helps the animal move.

It has four legs and a tail.

Phylum Chordata

They have a symmetrical body, with a spinal cord that attaches to the brain.

They have a tail, and full digestive system like intestines and stomach.

They have bones and cartilage to make up there skeleton

Animalia


General Description

Body length for males is between 1000 mm to 1300 mm or 39-51 inches.

The body length for females is between 870 mm-1170 mm or 34-46 inches. This is from tip of snout to end of tail.

Body Height The height for male and females ranges between 60-90cm or 24-35 inches.

Body Weight The average weight of the male Gray wolf is about 55kg or about 120 pounds. Females weight is on average 45kg or about 100 pounds.

Color They come in many shades depending on the region they are from.

If they live in colder climates there fur is whiter to blend with the snow.

They can come in many colors mixes like black, cinnamon, brown and gray.

They are usually lighter on their underbelly.

They can change to different colors depending on there age, like when they are young

they can be grey and then it can become more black fur as they get older.

Natural Range

The gray wolf mainly lives in the northern hemisphere.

Gray wolf population are now found only in areas like Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Canada and Mexico.

Diet They are carnivores. They eat other mammals such as beavers and other small rodents like rabbits. They eat large animals like bison, elk and moose when hunting in packs. They can eat fish or crabs. They will eat livestock.

They will also eat garbage and road kill if it is readily available.

Habitat The gray wolfs habitat ranges from prairie to dry landscapes, forests and the arctic. They can live in many different habitats.

Predators They will kill wolf pups from other packs, so they are their own predators, humans and coyotes are the other know predators of gray wolfs.

Humans have deforested or torn down there territory and killed them because they fear them being around people.

Physical Adaptations

They come in many shades depending on the region they are from.

If they live in colder climates there fur is whiter to blend with the snow.

They can come in many colors mixes like black, cinnamon, brown and gray.

They can change to different colors depending on there age, like when they are young they can be grey and then it can become more black fur. The fur can be used as camouflage and protection. The fur can stand straight up on there back as a sign they are upset and acts like a warning to whatever is threatening them.

In the Arctic the wolves are larger and have a thicker coat of fur to protect them from the cold, in the south they are smaller and have a thinner coat since it is warmer.

The color of there fur can blend them into the natural area around them so they are camouflage and hard to spot by predators.

Behavioral Adaptations

These wolves live in packs of up to 36 wolves. Larger packs help hunt larger prey because they work together to defeat them.

The heads of each pack are a male and female, called the alphas.

The Alpha male and female are the only ones that reproduce in each pack, so all the members of there group are there children unless they adopt another stray wolf or pups, which can happen. There are Alpha male and females because they are the strongest of the pack and they ensure that there pups will be strong.

Strong Alphas also help to ensure the survival of the pack from predators.

The Alpha male and female are the first to eat because they are the highest ranking in the pack. The packs have two phases of how they live, one where they stay in one place to raise the pups and another phase where they travel all the time very long distances for food. They are usually moving at night.They are very terroritorial and will mark or urinate on many things around there territory to warn othe packs or animals to stay away from there home.

References

Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). gray wolf. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 1054-1057). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Domain Eukarya [Fact sheet]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://classic.sidwell.edu/us/science/vlb5/labs/classification_lab/Eukarya/


Smith, J. 2002. "Canis lupus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Canis_lupus/

Maughans, R. (2015, March 17). Wolf Report. Retrieved from http://www.kats-korner.com