Q:

What classification of animal are timber wolves?

A:

Quick Answer

Timber wolves, like every other living thing, are classed in a series of nested hierarchies that precisely describes their relationship with every other living thing. Timber wolves are a subset of wolves, which are united as a single species, Canis lupus.

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Full Answer

Canis lupus includes most of the different types of true wolves on Earth. Domestic dogs are considered members of the same species, though they have a distinct subspecies name, Canis lupus familiaris. Above the species level, the genus Canis groups dogs and wolves with jackals. Animals in Canis are Canids, members of the family Canidae, along with foxes.

Canids belong to the order Carnivora. Carnivora is a very large and diverse group that brings timber wolves together with all dogs and foxes, cats, bears, weasels, seals, hyenas and walruses. Carnivores, despite their name, are not all meat eaters. The panda, for example, is a herbivorous carnivore.

Above the level of the order, taxons are assigned largely as a matter of clarity and convenience for naming. Carnivores are Eutheria, or animals with placentas, which unites them with monkeys, elephants, mice and bats. Eutheria is the main group of mammals, of the class Mammalia. Mammals are tetrapods, which are defined as air-breathing vertebrates.

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