Facts About Wolves For Kids
When you think of a wolf, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is their loud howl at a full moon.
While wolves are known for howling to communicate with each other, it might not be in front of a giant full moon, like the cartoons tell us!
Keep reading to find out more facts about wolves.
What does a wolf look like?
Wolves look like large dogs. Their jaw is longer and stronger than dogs, and their head is also bigger.
They are on an average around 85 cm tall at the shoulder with a tail that is around 40 cm.
Almost all wolves have thick fur which helps them live in very cold climates.
The most common type of wolf is the gray wolf, which has gray and brown fur with long, bushy tails.
How much does a wolf weigh? They are the largest members of the dog family. They usually weight between 80 to 140 pounds, but the largest wolves can weigh over 175 pounds.
They have long snouts and pointed ears on top of their heads.
At 5 inches length, wolves have much larger paw size compared to dogs.
Wolves are mammals, which means they have hair, give birth, and feed their babies with milk.
Wolves live in a pack which contains between six and ten other wolves. This pack is lead by the strongest male and everyone in the pack follows him.
Usually the pack leaders are in a pair, who we refer to as alpha male and alpha female. They maintain order within the pack.
Wolves are by nature fearful of unfamiliar situations, they do not bark at strangers, and have a predatory instinct. So wolves are not suited for guarding, unlike dogs.
A wolf can run fast and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.
Where do wolves live?
Wolves can be found in different habitats all over the world, but they are most commonly found in the United States, Canada and Arctic Russia.
Wolves are popular in forests, but they can also live in grasslands, deserts, the Arctic, and mountains.
Most wolves today are found in the frozen tundras in Canada and Alaska, where there aren’t many people or animals to bother them.
What do Wolves Eat?
Wolves are carnivores, which means that they mainly eat meat.
Because they live and hunt in packs, they are able to work together and take down large animals they might not be able to attack on their own.
Some animals that wolves like to hunt are elk, moose, deer, bighorn sheep, and bison.
If they can’t find many big animals, they will also eat squirrels, mice, weasels, and foxes.
Wolves will also add to their diet with other foods that are readily available, such as apples, pears, berries, and melons.
An adult wolf can eat upto 20 pounds of meat in a single feeding.
When a pack of wolves feed, things can get unruly, and so Alpha wolves maintain order. The alpha male and alpha female wolf usually eat first.
How do wolves protect themselves?
Wolves are the top predators in their habitat and have many ways to protect themselves against threats.
They have sharp teeth and are extremely strong, which helps them take down their prey.
They can run fast and don’t get tired very easily, so they can outrun anything that might be trying to chase them.
Wolves also have sharp eyesight, and an excellent sense of hearing and smell. While a bear or a mountain lion might be able to attack a single wolf all by itself, they are no match for a pack of wolves that travel together.
With all of their defenses, few animals are any threat to wolves.
How long do Wolves Live
Wolves in the wild can live between 8 to 13 years. In the wild, many wolves die young due to injuries and diseases. In captivity they are seen to live 15-20 years.
Are Wolves Nocturnal?
Wolves are mostly nocturnal, hunting after dusk and returning to rest at sunrise. But during the colder months, and if they are caring for pups, some will be active in the day too.
How Strong is Wolf?
They have sharp teeth, strong bodies, and excellent senses which help make them great hunters.
Wolves are the top predators in their habitats and are fierce hunters. Not very many animals try to fight wolves, and they are smart for that!
Wolves travel in packs and work together for food and safety. These animals show us an important lesson: you are stronger when you work as a team!
Fun Facts about Wolves
Around 300,000 wolf-hybrids exist in the United States. They are known to sometimes be more aggressive than pure wolves and often more unpredictable than our domestic dogs.
A female wolf is called a Luna wolf or a She-wolf.
Indian wolves are known to be the smartest, but are also one of the smallest, weighing no more than 50 pounds.
Did you know, wolf’s tail is straight and does not curl like that of dogs.
On average wolves travel 15 to 20 miles a day in search of food.
Wolves have good night vision and excellent peripheral vision. However they cannot focus at long distances.
Wolves can hear sounds as far as 5 miles away.
Wolves sense of smell is at least 100 times better than humans. They have 200 million nasal olfactory cells. Wow!
Wolf pups are usually born with blue eyes, however they change to yellow-gold when the pups are 10-16 weeks old.
Half of the wolf pups don’t reach adulthood due to predation and diseases.