An Analysis Of The Wolf Biology Essay


The wolf is a predatory, carnivorous mammal of the family Canidae which is highly intelligent animal with upright ears, sharp, pointed muzzles and sharp eyes.Wolves are the largest member of the wild canine family whose the average age being 6 to 8 years but can live upto 13 years in the wild.The color of the fur varies greatly, from gray to gray-brown or black.The black coat colour is due to a mutation in the process of evolution. The sense of smell that a wolf is 100 times greater than that of a humans. It is an ice age creature.Wolves live in social groups like lions called packs.Number of wolves vary from 2 to 20 animals.Packs are larger in Canada and Alaska.Packs are run by an alpha male and alpha female.They are the only pair allowed to breed. The beta wolves' are in second position and the omega wolf is in the lowest position within the pack.The alpha pair has the right to eats first, starting with the heart, liver, and lungs.Wolves of intermediate rank will prevent lower ranking pack members from feeding till the dominant pair finishes eating.

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Native to America, Canada, Asia, Europe and the Artic,the grey wolf or also known as the timber wolf or simply wolf, is the largest wild member of the Canidae family.Interestingly, saliva of the wolf is shown to reduce bacterial infection in wounds and help in tissue regeneration.Wolves are oppurtunistic hunters,generally eat any meat available including carrion and garbage.Cannibalism is not uncommon in wolves, and has been recorded to occur.The wolf eats mouse, deer, bison ,rabbits or smaller prey.In difficult circumstances they are able to survive on voles and mice too.A wolf howls, barks, yaps, whines and growls. Wolves are animals that hunt at any time of the day or night.

Generally, mating occurs between January and April. A pack produces a single litter unless the breeding male mates with one or more subordinate females.During this time, the breeding pair may be forced to prevent other wolves from mating with one another.The average litter size is 5-6 pups.One or two adults stay behind to ensure the safety of the pups.Wolves becomes sexually mature after two or three years.

Howling as a mode of communication helps the pack members to stay in contact effectively in forests or over great distances. It can be used to direct the member of the pack to a particular location. Howling can also serve as a declaration of territory. Howling occurs most often during the twilight hours. Growling, while teeth are bared, is the visual sign of communication that wolves use.It is used as warning. It is often used to threaten rivals, though not necessarily to defend themselves.

IUCN Status:

Endangered -There are approximately 2,500 gray wolves in the lower 48 states of USA,and about 10,000 in Alaska.

INDIN WOLF-General features and characters are similar to those mentioned above. The Indian Wolves residing in the semi-arid and hot open spaces are relatively small in size.The Indian Wolf is a prime example of the adaptability of wolves as a species, given that its cousins can be found in areas starkly contrasted to the scrubland, grassland, and semi-arid pastoral environments that the Indian Wolf thrives in.The Indian Wolf has a very short, dense coat that is typically reddish, tawny, buff coloured. It reaches 60-95 centimetres in height, and typically weighs 18-27 kilograms making it smaller than the Gray Wolf. Breeding generally occurs in October, after the rains.Indian wolves eat rabbits, hares, and rodents.

Desrtuction of habitats and indiscriminate hunting by humans have led to sharp decline in their population.Wolves have no option but to prey upon livestock and small .During 1996-1997 in Uttar Pradesh, wolves killed or seriously injured 74 humans, mostly children under the age of 10 years.These factors led to hatred towards these carnivores that further led to their deaths.Serious studies on Indian wolf is being done by Dr.J.Jhala who has revealed so many aspects of the social life of the Indian wolves.



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· Habitat destruction is the main cause for decline in the population.

· Indiscriminate hunting is other cause of concern.