Grey Wolf (Canis lupus)

Terry Bailey

Joined January 2011

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The Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) is a species of canid native Northern America, Eurasia and North Africa, the wolf inhabits remote wilderness areas. The male averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb), where as female averaging 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb).

The wolf represents a more specialised and progressive species than the Coyote as demonstrated by its ability to adapt over time to hunting larger prey than the coyote. However, aggressive this animal is when hunting prey it is known to be a very social animal travelling as a family that consists of a mating pair and accompanying paired off spring.

The Grey wolf is typically an apex predator, active across its own defined range, hunting and feeding on large ungulate species such as Moose, Bison Muskoxen, although the wolf can hunt alone it usually hunts as a pack similar to the way a pride of Lions hunts in Africa.

The grey wolf is probably one of the world’s most well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species. Different cultures either fear, hate or respect the wolf and although the fear of wolves is prevalent in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. All recorded attacks on humans of Non-rabid wolves were mainly on children, however, these are relatively few as, wolves are relatively few in number, preferring to live away from people, learning over the years to fear humans simply due to hunting and flock protection by

ShepherdsThe most likely ancestral candidate of the wolf is Canis lepophagus, a small, narrow skull North American canid of the Miocene era, which may have also given rise to the Coyote. Studies have shown that there are at least four distinct Grey wolf lineages: the most ancient is that of the African wolf (native to North, West and East Africa, which is thought to have originated as early as the middle to late Pleistocene era. All other lineages occur together in the Indian Subcontinent, the oldest of which is the Himalayan wolf (native to the Himalayan region of eastern Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh parts of Tibet and Eastern Nepal, which is thought to have originated 800,000 years ago, when the Himalayan region was going through major geologic and climatic upheaval. The peninsular Indian wolf, Canis l Pallipes, likely diverged from the Himalayan wolf 400,000 years ago. The youngest wolf lineage in India is represented by Canis l chanco (native to the northwestern Himalayan region of Kashmir), which originated 150,000 years ago. This last lineage, known as the holarctic clade, expanded into Europe and North America.

The now extinct Japanese wolves were descended from large Siberian wolves which colonised the Korean peninsula and Japan, before it separated from mainland Asia, 20,000 years ago during the Pleistocene era. During the Holocene, the Tsugaru strait widened and isolated Honshu from Hokkaido, thus causing climatic changes leading to the extinction of most large bodied ungulates inhabiting the archipelago. Japanese wolves likely underwent a process of island dwarfism 7,000–13,000 years ago in response to these climatological and ecological pressures. pressures. Canis l hattai (formerly native to Hokkaido) was significantly larger than its southern cousin Canis l hodophilax, as it inhabited higher elevations and had access to larger prey, as well as a continuing genetic interaction with dispersing wolves from Siberia.

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