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Canis lupus

Gray Wolf

Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae

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Gray Wolf
Credit: Isle Royale National Park
Image of Canis lupus
Canis lupus - typical coloration, standing left; black variant, inset; white variant, standing right; juvenile, center
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Gray wolves usually live in packs, led by an "alpha pair." The pack includes some of the alpha pair's offspring and may include some unrelated wolves. A pack's territory can be as large as 13,000 square km. Howling probably helps advertise who "owns" a particular piece of territory. When pups are born, the mother stays near them for the first three weeks, and her mate and others in the pack bring food to her. The pups are weaned when they about nine weeks old. As adults, they may travel as far as 72 km a day with their pack and run as fast as 70 km per hour.

Also known as:
Wolf, Timber Wolf, Tundra Wolf, Lobo, Prairie Wolf, Mexican Wolf, Arctic Wolf

Average: 1,100 mm males; 1,050 kg, females
Range: 1,000-1,300 mm males; 870-1,170 mm females

Average: 55 kg males; 45 kg females
Range: 30-80 kg males; 23-55 kg females


Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:39, 824 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Canis lupus

Image of Canis lupus
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