Rasky's Wolf Knowledge

Pack Structure Of Wolves

Wolves live in family groups called packs
A pack is usually made up of a
Male parent
A female parent
Their Pups
And a few other adult wolves who are the older brothers and sisters

The pack works together to hunt for food and to take care of the pups
Some members stay with the pack for life
Wolves can run up to 40 miles an hour and can easily cover 50 miles a day
It is highly likely that at one time or another
The land your home is on was once the home of a wolf pack
The greatest natural range of any mammal except humans

Life Span Of Wolves

In the wild it can be up to 13 years or more
In a protected wolf park or a controlled area of land
A wolf can live to be up to 16 years old
But most wolves usually live to be to around 8 years of age
The record wolf lifespan is about 20 years of age
Life in the wild is difficult for the wolf
With human population taking up more and more wolf habitat
Those who would kill the wolf, a long lifespan is unlikely.
In a controlled enviroment they can live longer
Because they are safe from the outside dangers of traps, snares,enemies and poisons

Senses Of A Wolf


Scent plays a very important role in the life of the wolf
By smell alone wolves can locate prey, other pack members or enemies
It can tell them if other wolves were in the territory
If they were male or female, and how recently they visited
The wolf has several specialized glands
One around the anus
And another on its back about 3 inches (7.6 centimetres) in the front of the base of its tail
The scent from these glands is as individualistic as are out fingerprints
And is used by that particular wolf as its personal calling card
These Glands are used as to mark boundaries and also to mark trails
These "Scent Stations" are often 100 yards (91 metres) apart
The sense of smell in the wolf is highly developed
As would be expected in an animal possessing numerous scent glands
The distance at which any scent can be detected is governed by atmospheric conditions
But even under the most favorable conditions
1.75 miles denotes a particularly keen sense of smell
The wolves usually travel
Until they encounter the scent of some prey species ahead of them
They then move directly toward their prey in an effort to capture it


Next to smell
The sense of hearing is the most acute of the wolf sense
Wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest
And ten miles in the open
Wolves can hear well up to a frequency of 25 khz
Some researchers believe
That the actual maximum frequency detected by wolves
Is actually much higher, perhaps up to 80 khz
The upper auditory limits for humans is 20 khz
Also according to some naturalist
Wolves' hearing is greater than that of the dog


Wolves also have keen eye sight
They are quick to detect the slightest movement of anything in front of them
Being major predators
Thier eyes are on the front of there heads
They have probably a little less than 180-degree vision
Unlike their prey species which can see over 300 degrees of a circle


Investigation of taste are made difficult by the fact that the influence of smell often plays a mojor role in the way a food "tastes"
It is known that canines possess taste receptors for the four taste categories
And Acidic

Felines on the other hand do not respond to sweetness
The sweetness receptivity would be adaptive use to wolves
As sweet berries and other fruits do play a minor role in their diet

Wolf Play

Wolves love to play
Shouldering one another
Bumping bodies together
Flopping tails over each other's backs
And leaping up placing forepaws around others necks

Play especially in pups develops strength and hunting skills
Play aids in establishing pack communication and hierarchy
The intention to play is often signaled by the gesture well known to dog owners
Of dropping the front quarters into a crouch position
With a smiling face and wagging tail
Adult wolves stage mock fights
They play chase and leap on each other
The ambushing of unwary pack members is a favorite game

Wolf Grooming

Wolves have been known to wash mud from there coats in rivers and streams
Wolves depend on thier thick coats in winter
So it is not surprising that they spend part of thier leisure time in grooming behavior
It is also likely that the grooming of other pack members
Helps reinforce the social bonds the tie the pack together
Two wolves will lick each others coats
Nibbling gently with thier teeth to remove foreign matter
Reciprocal grooming is especially common during courtship
Injured wolves are intensely groomed by other pack members
Providing both physical and mental well being

Wolf Swimming

The wolf is very comfortable in the water
They do not hesitate to wade through icy streams
Or swim across short stretches of lake
In the summer Wolves often bathe in streams to keep cool
They will readily follow prey into water

Foot Structure
And The Speed Of The Wolf

Humans are plantigrade, walking upon our entire flat foot, sole to heel
All members of the canine family and the feline family too
Are digitigrade, walking upon just their toe tips.
Unless a wolf is lying down
The heel of each foot does not come in contact with the ground
The front feet of a wolf are exceptionally large
This is of great advantage to the wolf when it runs upon snow
As it allows greater weight distribution and more support
To prevent the animal from sinking in as deeply when the snow is soft
The wolf has five toes on each forefoot, but only four are actually needed
The fifth toe, corresponding to our thumb, has regressed
It is found up on the middle of the foot and is known as the dew claw
There are just four toes on each of the hind feet
Each toe pad is surrounded by stiff, bristly hairs
Which act as insulation and also provides a better grip on slippery ice surfaces
The claws are strong and blunt
Because the tips are worn off by constant contact with the ground
These are used for digging and in gripping the earth while running
They are not used for seizing prey
Wolves walk, trot, lope or gallop
Their legs are long and they walk at about 4 miles, 6.4 kilometres, per hour
Their usual mode of travel is to trot, which they do at various speeds
Generally between 8 to 10 miles, 12.8 to 16 kiometres, per hour
Wolves do not run at full speed until they get close to their prey as possible
At that point they make a high-speed chase to test the animal
Wolves can keep up this pace for hours on end
They have been known to cover 60 miles, 96 kilometres, in a single night
They have been clocked at speeds of over 40 miles, 64 kilometres, per hour
For a distance of several miles

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