THE ARCTIC WOLF

By: Lauren Shevell and Darcie Fridstein




The ARCTIC WOLF is white. In winter it has a double layer of fur. Wolves look much like German Shepherd dogs, but wolves have longer legs, bigger feet, a wider head, and a long bushy tail. Most adult wolves weigh 75-120 pounds. Wolves have 42 teeth. Some wolves can run up to 40 miles per hour.

Wolves care for their young in a cave for five months. The alpha male and the alpha female are the head of the pack. The alpha female is the only one allowed to have pups.

Wolves often mate for life. Wolf pups are born in Spring time. There can be 3-12 puppies in a litter. At birth the pups only weigh about 1 pound. When the pups are 3 weeks old they are allowed out of the den. Some of the other wolves baby-sit while the mother is hunting. When the hunters return, the pups greet them. When the pups lick the mother wolf's jaws, the wolf brings up partly digested food. The pups are born deaf, blind, helpless. Pups are totally dependent on their mother.

People are moving into the few remaining areas where wolves are found in large numbers. There has never been a documented case of a healthy wild wolf deliberately attacking a person in North America. Wolves show their teeth when they are angry. When a wolf is scared, its ears go flat against its head. Wolves make different sounds to talk to each other. They whimper when they are restless or excited, they snarl when they are being threatened, they make a short woof as a warning. A bark means danger, and a howl is to tell other packs to stay out of their territory.

Wolves are social animals that live in groups called packs. Zoologist believe the members of a pack stay together because they have strong affection for each other. Some wolves leave the pack and become lone wolves. A lone wolf travels alone until it finds a mate. Those two may have pups and form a pack. Wolves are very shy animals and are afraid of people. When they wag their tail it means they're happy. If just the tip is wags it means it's getting ready to attack.

When threatened, musk ox form a circle around their calves. The wolves dart and nip until the musk ox run. Then the wolves chase the calves and often catch them. Wolves mainly eat Arctic hare, musk ox, Arctic fox, caribou, and lemmings. Wolves will often go days without food, but then can eat 10 pounds of meat at one time. The pack fans out into a circle around the animals. Then one wolf charges and attacks the animal. It hangs on tightly while others attack. Soon the fight is over and the hungry wolves can eat.

They live in groups up to 30 but usually 7-10. Wolves are social animals living together in a family groups called packs. In order to live peacefully , they have an elaborate system of who is in charge. Wolves live between 7-16 years. Wolves live in Asia, Europe, and the Arctic Circle in North America.


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