Wolf howling Image

Wolf howling Image


Wolf howling into the wilderness

SKU: TW027 Category:


Image of a Wolf howling into the wilderness

The wolf is the largest extant member of the Canidae family, and is further distinguished from coyotes and jackals by a broader snout, shorter ears, a shorter torso and a longer tail. It is slender and powerfully built, with a large, deeply descending rib cage, a sloping back, and a heavily muscled neck. The wolf’s legs are moderately longer than those of other canids, which enables the animal to move swiftly, and to overcome the deep snow that covers most of its geographical range in winter. The ears are relatively small and triangular. The wolf’s head is large and heavy, with a wide forehead, strong jaws and a long, blunt muzzle. The skull is 230–280 mm (9–11 in) in length and 130–150 mm (5–6 in) in width. The teeth are heavy and large, making them better suited to crushing bone than those of other canids. They are not as specialized as those found in hyenas though. Its molars have a flat chewing surface, but not to the same extent as the coyote, whose diet contains more vegetable matter. Females tend to have narrower muzzles and foreheads, thinner necks, slightly shorter legs, and less massive shoulders than males.

Adult wolves measure 105–160 cm (41–63 in) in length and 80–85 cm (31–33 in) at shoulder height. The tail measures 29–50 cm (11–20 in) in length, the ears 90–110 mm (3+1⁄2–4+3⁄8 in) in height, and the hind feet are 220–250 mm (8+5⁄8–9+7⁄8 in). The size and weight of the modern wolf increases proportionally with latitude in accord with Bergmann’s rule. The mean body mass of the wolf is 40 kg (88 lb), the smallest specimen recorded at 12 kg (26 lb) and the largest at 79.4 kg (175 lb). On average, European wolves weigh 38.5 kg (85 lb), North American wolves 36 kg (79 lb), and Indian and Arabian wolves 25 kg (55 lb). Females in any given wolf population typically weigh 2.3–4.5 kg (5–10 lb) less than males. Wolves weighing over 54 kg (119 lb) are uncommon, though exceptionally large individuals have been recorded in Alaska and Canada. In central Russia, exceptionally large males can reach a weight of 69–79 kg (152–174 lb).

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