Wolf Amazing Facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Wolf | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.
  2. Wolves were once the most widely distributed land predator the world has ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in the true desert and rainforests.
  3. The earliest drawings of wolves are in caves in southern Europe and date from 20,000 B.C.
  4. The Vikings wore wolf skins and drank wolf blood to take on the wolf’s spirit in battle. They also viewed real wolves as battle companions.
  5. In approximately the year 800, Charlemagne founded a special wolf-hunting force, the Louveterie, which remained active until 1789. It was reactivated in 1814, and the last French wolf was killed in 1927.
  6. In 1500, the last wolf was killed in England. In 1770, Ireland’s last wolf was killed. In 1772, Denmark’s last wolf was killed.
  7. Britain’s King Edgar imposed an annual tax of 300 wolf skins on Wales. The Welsh wolf population was quickly exterminated.
  8. In the 1600s, Ireland was called “Wolf-land” because it had so many wolves. Wolf hunting was a popular sport among the nobility. The earliest record of an Irish wolf hunting dates from Roman times in A.D. 391.
  9. When Europeans arrived in North America, wolves became the most widely hunted animal in American history and were nearly extinct by the beginning of the twentieth century.
  10. The U.S. Federal government in fact even enacted a wolf eradication program in the Western states in 1915.
  11. The North American gray wolf population in 1600 was 2 million. Today the population in North America is approximately 65,000. The world population is approximately 150,000.
  12. Wolves do not make good guard dogs because they are naturally afraid of the unfamiliar and will hide from visitors rather than bark at them.
  13. The autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus (SLE), or lupus, literally means wolf redness, because in the eighteenth century, physicians believed the disease was caused by a wolf bite.
  14. Wolves run on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly and to prevent their paw pads from wearing down.
  15. Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. In contrast humans have only about 5 million. Wolves can smell other animals more than one mile (1.6 kilometers) away.
  16. Under certain conditions, wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles in the open.
  17. A male and female that mate usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain sophisticated family ties.
  18. Wolf gestation is around 65 days. Wolf pups are born both deaf and blind and weigh only 450 gms.
  19. A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth. Their eyes turn yellow by the time they are eight months old.
  20. Amazingly in order for a new wolf cub to urinate, its mother has to massage its belly with her warm tongue.
  21. Among true wolves, two species are recognized: Canis lupus (often known simply as “gray wolves”). The other recognized species is the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are smaller and have longer legs and shorter fur.
  22. Immense power is concentrated in a wolf’s jaw. It has a crushing pressure of nearly 700 Kg per square inch (compared with around 350 for a large dog). The jaws themselves are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing, shearing, and crunching bones. Their jaws also open farther than those of a dog.
  23. A hungry wolf can eat 10 Kg of meat in a single meal, which is akin to a human eating one hundred hamburgers.
  24. A wolf pack may contain just two or three animals, or it may be 10 times as large.
  25. Though many females in a pack are able to have pups, only a few will actually mate and bear pups. Often, only the alpha female and male will mate, which serves to produce the strongest cubs and helps limit the number of cubs the pack must care for. The other females will help raise and “babysit” the cubs.
  26. Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as “psychological castration.” Amazingly lower-ranking females are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat.
  27. Wolves can swim distances of up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) aided by small webs between their toes.
  28. Adolph Hitler (whose first name means “lead wolf”) was fascinated by wolves. Hitler’s code names for various military headquarters used to incorporate wolf name.
  29. Biologists describe wolf territory as not just spatial, but spatial-temporal, so that each pack moves in and out of each other’s turf depending on how recently the “no trespassing” signals were posted.
  30. A wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40 miles (56 km) per hour when necessary, but only for a minute or two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can travel all day at this speed.
  31. The smallest wolves live in the Middle East, where they may weigh only 14 Kg. The largest wolves inhabit Canada, Alaska, and the Soviet Union, where they can reach 80 Kg.
  32. Wolves howl to contact separated members of their group, to rally the group before hunting, or to warn rival wolf packs to keep away. Lone wolves will howl to attract mates or just because they are alone.
  33. A light-reflecting layer on a wolf’s eye called the tapetum lucidum (Latin for “bright tapestry”) causes a wolf’s eyes to glow in the dark and may also facilitate night vision. While a wolf’s color perception and visual acuity may be  inferior to a human’s, a wolf’s eyes are extremely sensitive to movement.
  34. Where there are wolves, there are often ravens (sometimes known as “wolf-birds”). Ravens often follow wolves to grab leftovers from the hunt and to tease the wolves. They play with the wolves by diving at them and then speeding away or pecking their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them.
  35. Wolves are one of the few animals that communicate using a great range of facial expressions also helping pack unity.
  36. The Japanese word for wolf means “great god.”
  37. Between 6,000 and 7,000 wolf skins are still traded across the world each year. The skins are supplied mainly by Russia, Mongolia, and China and are used mainly for coats.
  38. Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.
  39. The last wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 13 wolf packs.
  40. Currently, there are about 50,000 wolves in Canada; 6,500 in Alaska; and 3,500 in the Lower 48 States. There are 70,000 in Russia. In Europe, dwindling population is found in Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden & Poland.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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