Wolf Facts



The scientific name for Gray Wolves is Canis Lupis. The wolf is highly intelligent and socially evolved. A wolf pack can consist of as few as two wolves, to as much as twenty wolves. There are two hierarchies in a wolf pack, one for females and one for males. The "Alpha" wolf is the highest ranking individual within the hierarchy. The "beta" wolf is the second ranking individual within the hierarchy. The "omega" wolf is the lowest ranking individual within the hierarchy.

The pack depend on each other for food and protection; the adults in the pack share mutually raise and care for the the cubs of the pack. Wolves have a vast communication repertoire including scent marks, vocalizations, visual displays, facial and body postures and rituals. The range of a wolf pack's territory can spread up to 60 miles, even more.

The primary function of the wolf in the wild is to hunt the weak members of other species, allowing the strong members to reproduce. The wolf is built for tracking and hunting prey. Wolves use direct scenting, chance encounter, and tracking to locate prey. Contrary to popular belief, the wolf has a low hunting success rate. In hunting, a wolf spends up to and over one third of it's time moving. A wolf can achieve speeds from 28 to 40 miles per hour, and keep up this pace for at least 20 minutes.

Despite myth, there has been no documented case where a healthy wolf has attacked a human. Wolves rarely approach human beings. Wolves are generally very peaceful.

By Orion Cooper
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