Gray wolves are large canines that range from 3 to 5 feet long, weigh from 60 to 145 pounds, live for 13 years and feed on large-hoofed mammals. These animals live in North America in a variety of habitats from tundra and deserts to forests and grasslands.
Gray wolves have coats that range from white to black and are often a mix of gray and brown. Males weigh up to 145 pounds while females are smaller, weighing in at about 100 pounds. These carnivores live largely off of deer, elk, bison and moose, although they hunt smaller game as well.
Gray wolves, nearly eradicated from North America by hunting, are starting to return to their former habitats in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan. A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf, lives in Arizona and Mexico. As of 2014, there were up to 11,000 wolves in Alaska, 3,700 in Wisconsin and Michigan and nearly 2,000 in the Northern Rockies.
Gray wolves communicate through sound, body language and scent marking. Wolves howl to communicate with other wolves over long distances. Each wolf has his own unique howl that helps his pack to recognize him. Wolves are social animals, living in packs with up to 15 members.