The rarest species is considered to be the arctic or polar wolf. From the name you can understand that this beast lives in the Arctic. He has a dense warm coat that helps the animal to survive in very difficult climatic conditions. His fur always aroused the interest of hunters, and the damage to livestock justified the uncontrolled shooting of predators. Because of this, in the past century, the polar wolf was on the verge of complete extermination.
On average, the weight of a representative of this species is from sixty to eighty kilograms, and its body length reaches one hundred eighty centimeters.
Tasmanian Marsupial Wolf
This is the biggest wolf among marsupial predators. According to official data, this animal has become extinct, but experts have a faint hope that several individuals survived in the wild places of Tasmania. The length of the body of this predator was one and a half meters (excluding the tail), and the height at the withers was about sixty centimeters. Its weight is a little less than thirty kilograms.
For large species can be attributed to the maned wolf. It is also called guar and aguarachay. The shoulders and neck of these animals are decorated with long wool. Its average height is about seventy-five centimeters, the weight can vary from twenty-one to twenty-three kilograms with a body length of one hundred and sixty centimeters.
A large island Melville wolf is considered. With a weight of about eighty kilograms, the length of his body is one hundred eighty centimeters. These predators hunt the musk oxen, reindeer, and elk.
The habitat of the largest wolves
The researchers came to the conclusion that the farther from the equator these dangerous predators live, the larger they are. For example, wolves from the tropics do not exceed the size of an ordinary dog, animals from Canada, Alaska and Russia are much larger. The gray wolf, the hero of many fairy tales, epics, legends, is recognized as the largest in the world. The habitats of the wolf are forest-steppe, steppe, desert, tundra and open mountain areas. Once gray wolves occupied such vast territories that they gave the owner rights only to humans. Today, their range has decreased significantly.
The biggest wolf in the world is gray. He belongs to the family of canids, however, like all his fellows. The body length of an adult male reaches one hundred and eighty centimeters, and the height at the withers is about one meter. The weight of animals often exceeds seventy kilograms. Females are much smaller.
The paws of these predators are long, the claws are not too sharp, as they are very worn down while running. Wool is usually light gray, sometimes with a black or reddish tint. The color of the hair of the biggest wolf with age can vary greatly.
Gray predators lifestyle
Wolves are gregarious animals. A pack is made up of related individuals, as well as single animals nailed towards them. It can be quite numerous, and small, consisting of three to six individuals, and the large has from twenty to forty animals. The way of life of wolves in a pack obeys its laws and order, there is a strict hierarchy. It is headed by a strong and rather young wolf, to which the rest animals obey unconditionally.
The leader leads the pack to the hunt and resolves all conflicts that arise between congeners. Researchers of the behavior of these predators point out that they have a very well developed sign language. Pose or tail position can speak volumes. For example, a raised tail means that you see a pack leader, and an animal with a tail between its tail is the weakest in the pack. Often, when hunting, several predators play the role of beaters: they take game to ambush. But more often, wolves, replacing each other, alternately exhaust the victim, forcing her to spend her strength as quickly as possible. Startling a herd, gray hunters instantly identify sick or weak animals, which eventually become their prey.
The biggest wolves are recognized lovers of "choral singing." Their howl conveys important information to their congeners when predators are several kilometers apart. For example, in this way wolves report the approach of a game or human. However, wolves love to howl and for no apparent reason at night or in the early morning hours. The first “soloist” the leader, and then the rest of the pack members vote. In addition, the biggest wolves make other sounds - they bark, growl, yelp, squeal. Wolves are endowed with a very sensitive smell: they smell a hundred times better than people.
What do wolves eat?
From the description of animals in the special literature it is obvious that wolves are predators. Usually they prey on weak and sick animals. It is for this reason that they are called paramedics. For wolves, various animals are prey - wild boar and elk, goat and sheep, roe deer and deer, bulls and beavers, rabbits and hares, squirrels and badgers, as well as birds.
But most often the biggest wolves hunt large hoofed animals. Often attack livestock. When there is not enough food, wolves can eat frogs, lizards and beetles. Every day, the wolf eats about five kilograms of meat and drinks about a liter of water. Wolves supplement their diet with fruits, berries, grass, mushrooms and leaves. Such food normalizes the digestion of predators. It should be noted that wolves are very hardy animals: they can live for almost fifteen days without food.
Interestingly, wolves create their families only once in their lives. Before breeding, a couple leaves the flock. In preparation for this important process, they occupy holes that were once dug by other animals, or dig their own, settling a den, can settle among the rocks in crevices. Only a she-wolf with offspring uses this house - the father of the family only brings food to him.
The wolf's pregnancy lasts from sixty-two to seventy-five days. In spring, between three and thirteen cubs are born. Newborns are completely helpless - puppies are deaf, blind and toothless. Future predators weigh from three hundred to five hundred grams. Their eyes open on the ninth day, and after another two weeks, teeth begin to erupt.
At first, babies feed only on mother's milk, then the she-wolf starts feeding them, burping out the digested food from her stomach, and even later, the adults give them their prey. It is noteworthy that the whole pack takes an active part in raising puppies. While the she-wolf is completely absorbed in raising the offspring, members of the pack after each hunt bring her food.
In about six months, young wolves already take part in the hunt along with adult members of the pack. Adult animals are considered to be two to three years old. Under natural conditions, the life span of gray predators is about ten to twelve years.
Large breeds of wolves
The Tasmanian marsupial wolf is considered the largest among marsupial predators. According to official data, the animal died out, however, it remains to be hoped that several individuals survived in the wild places of Tasmania. Without taking into account the tail, the length of this predator reached one and a half meters, and the height was about sixty centimeters. The weight of the individual was up to twenty-five kilograms.
For large species include the maned wolf. He has other names - this is aguarachay and guar. Long hair adorns the shoulders and neck of these wolves. Its height is on average seventy-five centimeters, its weight varies from twenty-one to twenty-three kilograms with a length of one hundred and sixty centimeters.
Where do the biggest wolves live?
The other largest wolf, the Melville Island Wolf, lives on the North American continent on the Arctic islands and on the island of Greenland in its northern part. For the arrangement of the lair of the wolf uses a natural landscape. More often, their homes are located in ledges of rocks, small depressions or caves.
Rare polar wolf lives in the Arctic. The living conditions are harsh, however, the predator has managed to adapt. A polar wolf can go without water for several weeks, but after the first successful hunt, he can eat up to ten kilograms of meat. Due to abrupt climate changes, habitual habitats are beginning to change, this leads to a significant reduction in the number of polar wolves.
What do giant wolves eat?
It is known that cannibalism is widespread among wolves, they eat up wounded and sick relatives. Sometimes in a deadly fight between two flocks, alpha males are killed, which are subsequently eaten by their offspring.
It is known that the maned wolf often hunts alone. Its prey is small animals: various birds, pacu and agouti. These wolves often haul poultry, and gathering in a flock, they can attack sheep. The maned wolf does not disdain and vegetable food.
The largest wolf in the world at present
In the nineteenth century, the wolf was considered large, its weight was in the range of sixty to seventy kilograms. In 1939, in Alaska, a wolf weighing ninety kilograms was shot by a hunter in Alaska; its length was about one and a half meters. According to unconfirmed reports, a wolf weighing more than ninety kilograms was killed by one of the hunters in Siberia.
The largest wolf of the planet is a gray, ordinary wolf Canis lupus. Its length without tail reaches one meter sixty centimeters, and its weight is about ninety kilograms. The height of the gray predator is ninety centimeters. Canis lupus is not only the biggest wolf, but also the largest member of the canine family.
The biggest wolf in the world
For wolves throughout their existence, a person had a rather strange attitude. On the one hand, for many people, the fact that these animals are full-grown predators, so proud and selfish, cannot fail to arouse enthusiasm. On the other hand, even in folklore or in modern cartoons, the wolf was endowed with the qualities of a stupid and close-witted creature who would gladly freeze his tail in the hole just because he was told so by a cunning fox.
Of course, at various stages of its development, humanity tried in every possible way to exterminate this beautiful animal: it was poisoned with different gases, installed special traps, or simply lured into the net. At the moment, it is known that poachers do not stop to lead their hunt from helicopters and snowmobiles in order to quickly overtake the sometimes defenseless creature.
But the wolf does not care. This animal can be attributed along with woodpecker, to the orderlies of the forest, because it eats only sick animals, preventing the infection of others. Wolves are not guided only by humanistic goals, they understand that it is much more difficult to kill a large animal like an elk or a buffalo than to fill up an unhealthy one. The habitat of this predator can be considered a huge territory, starting with the cold Arctic areas, ending with the sands of Asia.
Distinctive morphology and other qualities of the gray wolf
Many still believe that modern dogs are descended from the wolf, referring to their similarity. But scientists have proven that none of the described species is directly related to the other.
This animal can run at a crazy speed - 60 km / h. For comparison, you can take the Olympic record holder Usain Bolt: he can reach speeds of only 42 km / h. And this man is the fastest in the world among the living. The front part of the wolf's head is equipped with good nerves and muscles, which allow it to express its emotions like joy, humility, anger and fear. Also, the tail deserves much attention: depending on its position, one can judge what place this representative occupies in the pack.
Front of wolf's head
In order to keep warm in the cold winter, it is not enough for a wolf to store its body with fat; That is why, in the course of evolution, this species had a two-layer fur, which made it possible not to freeze even at a critical temperature. Like many other animals, the wolf sheds in the summer, the color of its fur depends on the place where it lives.
There is such a proverb: the wolf's legs are fed. This is partly true, but not quite. An important attribute of his hunt was the specific structure of the jaw and teeth. In the animal's mouth you can meet about thirty-eight teeth, of which twenty are located on the upper jaw, and eighteen settled on the bottom. Among all the teeth, there are always four canines with which the animals hold their prey and four carnivorous teeth capable of shredding a body of any density.
It is believed that the voice of an ordinary wolf has a wide frequency range, which allows it to transmit any information over a long distance. If you hear a howl of a wolf, then you know, he just communicates with his kindred. The gray wolf is endowed with good mental abilities, it is very often compared to dogs, but the intelligence and cognitive functions of the wolf are much more complex. Many attribute this species to the ten most intelligent animals on the planet. But the biggest wolf in the world lives for a relatively short time - only fifteen years.
Vital activity and food
The biggest wolf in the world is not carried to the top of the food chain, even though these animals are a predator. To hunt this animal mainly at night, having an excellent sense of smell and good eyesight, it is not difficult for him. His diet includes a variety of animals depending on the habitat: in the forests he can eat deer and moose, in the steppes antelope, and in the tundra reindeer. That is mainly in his diet includes representatives of hoofed species.
If hunger times come and ordinary food is not at hand, the wolf does not stop to eat individuals of its own kind: foxes and raccoon dogs. Also can eat a bird's egg or a small rodent. From this we can conclude that the gray wolf is an omnivorous animal.
Wolves live exclusively in packs, with the patriarchal system, where there is a leader, the best male and his female. Also, these animals are considered a monogamous character with the opposite sex, that is, they choose for themselves only one partner for the rest of their lives, with whom they continue their kin.
Where does the wolf live?
This species of animal loves to settle in the steppes, semi-deserts and tundra, in every possible way avoiding dense forests. It can be seen in the mountains, but only in open areas. A wolf can live near a man’s dwelling, for example, when people mastered the tundra and gradually cut down the forest, the wolf followed them.
Each pack of wolves has a clearly defined habitat. It usually fluctuates at a distance of up to sixty kilometers, determined by special marks. In the summertime, when you can meet your prey at almost every step, the pack life of wolves falls apart: the best part of the terrain is occupied by the pack leader with her wolf, and the rest has to be content with only a stray lifestyle.
Also of great importance for the breeding of offspring are the so-called lairs of predators. Wolves are not so smart animals that they can build something for themselves, they find different crevices and secret places where their cubs would feel calm and safe. It is interesting that only the female uses these shelters, the male does not allow herself this luxury. Mining wolves are mined far from home, approximately seven kilometers away, no less. When the cubs grow up, it is not advisable to become a lair for the family, then they all settle in other secluded places.
What could be dangerous meeting a wolf with a man?
The great Russian zoologist Pavlov, in his writings, repeatedly noted multiple wolf attacks on humans. The scientist immediately identified several regions in which such actions did not become an accident. As a rule, these areas did not have enough food for predators, so they had to go to extreme measures - to kill people. It can also be noted that wolves are aggressive towards people during the breeding season, because they instinctively begin to carry everything that comes their way to their home, trying to feed their large family. Although the writer Farley Mowet, in his book, wrote that wolves are tolerant animals and will not attack a person, even he will sneak into their dwelling place. This is only possible with North American canines. From this we can conclude that the wolves are not as simple as it seems, with them you should always be alert.