Canis lupus, the common wolf, originally ranged throughout the Northern Hemisphere, living in North America from the Arctic down to Mexico, and from northern Europe down to southern Asia and northern Africa. Canis rufus, the red wolf, is a North American species that once ranged from Ontario to the
There are at least two types or species of wolves, gray wolves and red wolves, although evidence exists there might be two more. The Abyssinian wolf and the eastern wolf, though both formerly considered to be a subspecies or not true wolves, might be distinct species.
A wolf's size is dependent on its species, and male wolves typically weigh 20 percent more than the females. Arabian wolves, which are considered the smallest wolves in the world, weigh approximately 30 pounds, while gray wolves, which are considered as one of the largest wolf species, weigh between
Wolves are highly adaptable animals with habitats that stretch around the globe; however, they are most numerous in the United States, Canada and the Artic Russia. A new species of wolf called the Abyssinian wolf has been identified in the highlands of Ethiopia. It is much smaller than its relatives
On average, wolves live six to eight years. Some wolves living in the wild live to be 13 years old, and in protected areas, wolves can live for 16 or 17 years.
Wolves can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour in short bursts. A wolf's trotting speed is around 5 miles per hour. As wide-ranging animals, wolves can cover as much as 30 miles of ground in a day when hunting.
Aside from humans, wolves do not have any direct predators and are considered at the top of their food chain. Wolf meat is not normally consumed, although it would be possible for it to be eaten in extreme circumstances.
A group of wolves is called a pack. Wolves are social creatures that travel, hunt and perform all activities together. The pack is made up of family members, whether by blood or special ties.
White wolves, also called arctic wolves, inhabit the northernmost regions of North America and Greenland, called the High Arctic (between roughly 70 degrees north latitude and 90 degrees north latitude). Above 70 degrees north, there are no gray wolves, only white wolves.
Baby wolves are called pups. Typically, a litter has four to six pups, which are called litter mates. Wolves live in family groups called packs, usually consisting of a male and female parent and their pups.