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The Gray Wolf

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This report is all about the gray wolf. Its scientific name is Canis Lupis. Canis is the Latin word for dog. The genus also includes jackals and coyotes. Lupis is the Latin word for wolf. Gray wolves look similar to German shepherds, but the wolf has longer legs and bigger feet. The color of a gray wolf can range from black to white, but shades of gray are the most common. A unique feature about gray wolves is that the farther north you find them, the larger they are. Males can range from (nose-to-tail) five to six and a half feet and females range from four and a half to six feet. The normal life span of a wolf is about thirteen years, but most wolves don't live past ten years for numerous reasons. Examples include disease, hunters, etc. The wolves that live in Arctic climates have very thick coats of fur that keeps them warm. Wolves, like all canines, have 42 teeth. Their "fangs", or canine teeth, are used to grab prey and like a hook. These teeth can be as long as two and a half inches.

Wolves generally live in packs. A typical wolf pack would include a leader male and female wolf (alpha wolves), their pups, and possibly several other non-breeding adult wolves. Packs can vary from 25 square miles to 500 square miles, depending on the availability of prey. Within a pack, only one pair of wolves mate. This pair is known as the "alpha pair." The female wolf only goes into heat once a year in January or February. If she becomes pregnant, she will have, on average, about 6 pups in late April or early May. The female digs a wolf den in soft soil where it is warm underground. Here, she can keep the pups away from the rest of the pack. Unlike most mammals, the male wolf helps raise the pups as well. After about one month, the pups are ready to go out of the den and move from mother's milk to meat that is regurgitated by the parents. After one year, the pups have grown into adults.

This a map of the world representing where the gray...