Wolves. By Kelci & Megan . Introduction.
By Kelci & Megan
Wolves aren’t really BIG, BAD, and SCARY like the ones you know from fairytales. They are actually very smart and are afraid of humans. No one in North America has ever been attacked by a wolf. They are very protective of their young and if they think you are harming their young, they may attack.
The wolf looks very similar to the German Shepherd, but the wolf has longer legs, bigger feet, a wider head, a bushy tail, and it moves and holds its head differently.A wolf’s fur is called its pelage. Their pelage may vary from white to jet black. Their pelage helps them to camouflage and works as a raincoat. The temperature of their feet is just above zero. That helps the wolf to survive through the winter and in cold areas.
Howling and body language are two different forms of communication for the wolf. Wolves howl for two different reasons: to find other members of the pack if they are lost, and to communicate with other wolves.
Body language is used in many ways. If a wolf has its tail between
his or her legs or is rolling on the ground with their legs in the air , it means they are submissive. The dominant male and female usually hold their tails in the air. This means that they are very dominant.
Wolves biggest enemy is humans.Wolves used to be seen everywhere but now they are on the endangered species list. Many people kill wolves because they think they are vicious, man-eating animals. Wolves rarely attack humans and if one does, it is to protect their young. They try to avoid humans as much as possible. Fairy tales really make wolves look bad. One main reason people do not like wolves is because they are sometimes known to eat livestock. Actually, wolves will only eat livestock if they are starving and can’t find anything else to eat. Other enemies of the wolf are the lynx and the bear. They are the wolf’s only natural enemies. To protect their territory, wolves urinate on trees to warn the enemy not to trespass.
Timber wolves live in wooded, subarctic regions. Tundra wolves live on treeless plains of the arctic. Red wolves are separate species that are nearly extinct. They live in Louisiana and Texas in the USA. Wolves are seldom found in deserts and tropical forests. Arctic wolves live in the most inhospitable areas in the world. It is one of the few mammals that can exist in such a climate. Gray wolves (canis lupus) used to live in large areas of North America, Europe, and Asia two hundred years ago. Wolves are extremely territorial. A pack occupies an area and will defend against any intruder. Depending on the amount of prey this equaled the size of territory. They mark their territory by urinating on trees. If a pack trespasses, fights often occur and sometimes result in death. Subordinate wolves were often forced out of a pack and would then find a mate and begin a new pack in a unoccupied area.
Wolves live in packs of about seven to ten. They never travel alone. Wolves in the same pack rarely fight and always help each other out. Their survival depends on how they get along. The main rule is to keep the population down, so there is enough food for everyone. They are always acting out rituals to keep their social order.
In a wolf pack, there are two leaders, the alpha male and the alpha female. They are the only wolves who have pups. All the other wolves in the pack are submissive. The alpha male and female show their dominance by raising their tails and urinate with their leg raised. The alpha pair is the first to eat in the pack, the others must wait until they are finished.
Every wolf in the pack has a totally different personality. Their eyes, body position, and facial expression are most important for communicating.
The entire pack looks after the pups and the healthy wolves look after the sick ones. Wolves get along much better than humans.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Megan and Kelci both play for the Bushido water polo league. Megan is in grade four and Kelci is in grade six. They both enjoy drawing and playing games. Megan swims for the Mini Marlins and is good at playing piano. Kelci has been in quite a few television productions and loves acting. Kelci has a budgie named Hitch and Megan has a turtle named Spike and a cat named Tiger.
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THANK YOU FOR VISITING OUR PROJECT!
written and produced by
with help from
the Hewlett Packard Lab
at Earl Grey School!