Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wolf

Possibly no animal has been so misunderstood feared, hated, and persecuted throughout history as the wolf. The gray wolf, also called the timber wolf, is the largest of about 41 wild species within the exception of the red wolf of southeastern. Texas and southerm Louisiana, all living wolves are consider as single species, Canis Lupus. The red wolf, canis rufus is similar to but smaller than the gray wolves and is intermediate in many characteristics between gray wolves and cayotes, indeed it has been suggested that the red wolf originated as a fertile cross between gray wolves and cayotes.

Characteristic
The size of wolves varies with geographic lacality. Adult range from about 127 to 164 cm from nose to tip of tail, from 65 to 90 cm high at the shoulder, and from 18 to 80 kg in weight. The red wolf is at the lower end of this range, seldom exceeding 30 kg in weight. Coat colors vary from pure white, which is predominant in the north, through motted gray to brown or black. Grizzled gray is the most common color. The red wolf is usually a reddish tan.

Wolves can live in a variety of habitats, ranging from arctic tundra to forest and praire. The are absent from desert and the highest mountains. At one time the wolf occured throughout most of the Nortern Hemisphere north of 20o north latitude, or approximately from the Arctic to south central Mexico. Attempts to exterminate the animals have reduced this range considerably. On the Old world Wolf still exist in the sofyet union, china, northern India, eastern Europe, and in very small numbers, Western Europe. Most new world wolf population are in Canada and Alaska. A small population exist in Mexico. Of the 48 contigeous states only Minnessota currently has a wolf population large enough to maintain itself.

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