Gray wolf (canis lupus) can survive even the harshest weather conditions. The Siberian Taiga wolves are resilient to frost and snow storms. This habitat is the best for such type of wolves. In this area winters are long and cold, while the summer is very short. Siberian Taiga covers a huge part of Russia and in those areas wolves are most plentiful. Between wolf packs there is some sort of a pact, whey only defend their territory, but the territories varies in size.
Wild wolf characteristics:
One of the largest wild canine (dog) is the gray wolf. 3 feet tall to the shoulder and 3-5 feet length from the nose to the tip of the tail. They weight from 40 up to 176 pounds. Males wolves are larger. All gray wolves has long and large pawed legs, so as long and bushy tail. You may recognize them from their yellow brown eyes and pointy ears. They also have that rough fur coats, which colours vary from grey, white to black. In Europe most of wolves are grayish brown.
Even if there is many different species and adaptations of grey wolves, they all have woolly fur coats that provides them with insulation. Don’t forget the guard hair that keeps them out of moisture. Under their paws they have fleshy pads and claws for traction, it gives them a support while running wild in the snow. Wolf sense of hearing is 10 times sharpen than human’s, but their sense of smell is 100 times keener. Their jaws has crushing power of 500 pounds per squire inch. Just like the smell and hearing, their vision is very sensitive, especially to motions. Their night vision is even more sensitive and it’s mainly because of reflective retina (tapetum). Wolves also have a great stamina, so they are able to cover long distances and run after their prey.
Running like a grey wolf, means speeding 40 miles per hour. Even if they run fast, their maximum lifespan is 17 years. By the first year, female wolves reach their sexual maturity, while male wolfs has to be at least 2 years of age. The mating period comes once a year, between January and March, and they give birth to their offspring in about 63 days. The litter size is about 5-6 in a den. A newborn wolves weights about 1 pound and they must stay beside their mother for 8 weeks. During that time the male wolf has to provide mothers and their pups with food.
Most of grey wolves, or any wolves for that matter, lives in packs. The pack is usually led by the alpha male and his female wolf. They only mate in pairs and stays together after mating. The pack also consist of the alpha pair offspring and their young but a bit mature wolves from the previous mating season. Their also might be adults from lower ranking. Packs can consist from 4 to 30 wolves or even 32. Of course there are some solitary wolves in the nature.
Because grey wolf is a carnivore and a predator he eats other animals ( moose, caribou, deer and etc.). If they can’t hunt, wolves might eat rodents. As scavenges they only need one meat meal per day. They track down their prey in packs. Because of their stamina they are able to wear down their prey. They sprint to catch it. Grey wolves are at the top of the food chain and their only enemy is human.
The biggest and the most stable wolves population is in Canada and Alaska. However, in most of North America this species is endangered. European, African and Asian grey wolves population is tiny, except for Siberian Taiga. Despite their over or lack of population, furriers are fascinated with wolves fur, its insulation and moister resistant fabric. Sometimes running with the wolves, or like a wolf, gives us courage and power to withstand anything.