The gray wolf slightly resembles a large German shepherd, and its coat color is typically a mixture of gray, white and brown, though some wolves have solid coat colors of white, brown and black. Wolves are 3 to 5 feet long on average, not including the tail, which is 1 to 2 feet long. They typically weigh between 60 to 145 pounds depending on their gender and habitat resources.
The gray wolf is sometimes confused with the coyote. The gray wolf and the coyote are closely related, but they are two different species. The coyote is typically smaller than the gray wolf, with individuals averaging between 15 to 44 pounds in weight. Coyotes also have a slimmer frame and longer ears than gray wolves. The eastern coyote, a hybrid between the coyote and gray wolf, is larger than most coyotes, averaging between 30 and 40 pounds, but it is still typically smaller than the gray wolf.
As of 2015, the gray wolf's natural range is limited mostly to the Northern United States and Canada, but a sub-species of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf, has been reintroduced to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Gray wolves live in social groups known as packs. The pack can consist of as few as two individuals or as many as 15. Gray wolves are carnivorous and typically hunt larger animals together as a pack. These prey animals can include bison, moose and elk, but the gray wolf is also known to hunt smaller game, such as beavers and rabbits.