Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf
Range Eurasia, North Africa and North America
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae
Genus Canis
Species Canis lupus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Gray Wolf is a species of the Canis genus. It is native to Eurasia, North Africa, and North America.


It has a slender body with a powerful build. It has triangular ears and wide forehead, and has strong jaws. The front paws have five toes each while the back paws have four. Despite the name "Gray" wolf, their fur and pelt colors can vary through a huge range, from white to black, some brownish and reddish.

Behavior and biology

Gray Wolves travel and hunts in packs. They're also highly territorial.


Their diet consists of rats and large-sized animals like bison & deer. When food is insufficient they'll prey on insects and amphibians. Gray wolves will also eat berries and fruits if necessary.


The breeding season starts in January or February. A mature female Gray Wolf can give birth to 4-7 Pups. An average Gray Wolf can live seven to eight years in the wild, but some have lived 10 years or more.

Evolution and Taxonomy


Globally, gray wolf taxonomy has been subject to numerous revisions, particularly in North America. As of 2005, 37 subspecies of C. lupus are recognized by MSW3. Its list includes the domestic dog, dingo, eastern wolf and red wolf, but lists C. l. italicus and C. l. communis as synonyms of C. l. lupus, and C. l. lupaster as a subspecies of the golden jackal.

Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus)

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Generally, a large subspecies measuring 105–160 cm in length and weighing 40–80 kg. The pelt is usually a mix of rusty ocherous and light grey.
Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus)

(Kerr, 1792)

A large subspecies, with adults measuring 112–137 cm, and weighing 36.6–52 kg. The fur is very long, dense, fluffy, and soft and is usually very light and grey in color. The lower fur is lead-grey and the upper fur is reddish-grey.
Kenai Peninsula Wolf (Canis lupus alces)

(Goldman, 1941)

A large wolf measuring over 200 cm in length and weighing 45–90 kg. It is thought that its large size was an adaptation to hunting the extremely large moose of the Kenai Peninsula.
Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs)

(Pocock, 1934)

A small, "desert adapted" wolf that is around 66 cm tall and weighs, on average, about 18 kg. Its fur coat varies from short in the summer and long in the winter, possibly because of solar radiation.
Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos)

(Pocock, 1935)

A medium sized wolf that is between 64 and 79 cm tall and 89 to 189 cm long, weighing between 35 and 45 kg on average, though there have been specimens found weighing up to 68 kg.
Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

(Nelson & Goldman, 1929)

A small subspecies which weighs 25–45 kg and measures 140–170 cm in total length (nose to tip of tail), and 72–80 cm in shoulder height. The pelt contains a mix of grey, black, brown, and rust colors in a characteristic pattern, with white underparts.
Newfoundland Wolf (Canis lupus beothucus)

(Allen & Barbour, 1937)

A white colored subspecies, extinct in 1911, typically measuring 180 cm in length and weighing 45 kg.
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Dingo (Canis lupus dingo)

(Meyer, 1793)

Generally 52–60 cm tall at the shoulders and measures 117 to 124 cm from nose to tail tip. The average weight is 13 to 20 kg. Descended from Southeast Asia around 5,000 years ago by boat, the dingo is now largely wild. Fur color is mostly sandy to reddish brown, but can include tan patterns and be occasionally black, light brown, or white.
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Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Tends to have a 20% smaller skull and a 30% smaller brain, as well as proportionately smaller teeth than other wolf subspecies. The paws of a dog are half the size of those of a wolf, and their tails tend to curl upwards, another trait not found in wolves.

Canis lupus familiaris is believed to be the earliest species, plant or animal, to be domesticated by humans. The exact date of this divergence is disputed, as evolutionary biologists believe that domestic dogs underwent a “proto-domestication” process. During this time, humans and Canis lupus shared environments prior to active selective breeding interventions by humans.

Through selective breeding by humans, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal. For example, height measured to the withers ranges from a 6 inches (150 mm) in the Chihuahua to 3.3 feet (1.0 m) in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called "blue") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat.

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Honshū Wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax)

(Temminck, 1839)

Needs text.
Canis lupus monstrabilis
Texas Wolf (Canis lupus monstrabilis)

(Goldman, 1937)

Similar in size and color to Canis lupus mogollonensis.
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Greenland Wolf (Canis lupus orion)

(Pocock, 1935)

Needs text.
Red Wolf
Red Wolf (formerly Canis lupus rufus now Canis rufus)

(Goldman, 1937)

Has a brownish or cinnamon pelt, with grey and black shading on the back and tail. Generally intermediate in size between other American wolf subspecies and coyotes. Like other wolves, it has almond-shaped eyes, a broad muzzle and a wide nosepad, though like the coyote, its ears are proportionately larger. It has a deeper profile, a longer and broader head than the coyote, and has a less prominent ruff than wolves.

} see Category:Canis Lupus

Eurasian Wolf (Linnaeus, 1758) (Canis lupus lupus)
Tundra Wolf (Kerr, 1792) (Canis lupus albus)
†Kenai Peninsula Wolf (Goldman, 1941) (Canis lupus alces)
Arabian Wolf (Pocock, 1934) (Canis lupus arabs)
Arctic Wolf (Pocock, 1935) (Canis lupus arctos)
Mexican Wolf (Nelson & Goldman, 1929) (Canis lupus baileyi)
†Newfoundland Wolf (Allen & Barbour, 1937) (Canis lupus beothucus)
†Bernard's Wolf (Anderson, 1943) (Canis lupus bernardi)
Steppe Wolf (Dwigubski, 1804) (Canis lupus campestris)
Tibetan Wolf (Gray, 1863) (Canis lupus chanco)
†British Columbia Wolf (Goldman, 1941) (Canis lupus columbianus)
Vancouver Island Wolf (Hall, 1932) (Canis lupus crassodon)
Dingo (Meyer, 1793) (Canis lupus dingo)
Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
†Florida Black Wolf (Miller, 1912) (Canis lupus floridanus)
†Cascade Mountain Wolf (Richardson 1839) (Canis lupus fuscus)
†Gregory's Wolf (Goldman, 1937) (Canis lupus gregoryi)
†Manitoba Wolf (Baird, 1858) (Canis lupus griseoalbus)
†Hokkaidō Wolf (Kishida, 1931) (Canis lupus hattai)
†Honshū Wolf (Temminck, 1839) (Canis lupus hodophilax)
Hudson Bay Wolf, Canis lupus hudsonicus
Northern Rocky Mountains Wolf, Canis lupus irremotus
Labrador Wolf, Canis lupus labradorius
Alexander Archipelago Wolf, Canis lupus ligoni
Eastern Wolf, Canis lupus lycaon
Mackenzie River Wolf, Canis lupus mackenzii
Baffin Island Wolf, Canis lupus manningi
†Mogollon Mountain Wolf, Canis lupus mogollonensis
†Texas Wolf, Canis lupus monstrabilis
Great Plains Wolf, Canis lupus nubilus
Mackenzie Valley Wolf, Canis lupus occidentalis
Greenland Wolf, Canis lupus orion
Indian Wolf, Canis lupus pallipes
Yukon Wolf, Canis lupus pambasileus
Red Wolf, Canis lupus rufus
Alaskan Tundra Wolf, Canis lupus tundrarum
†Southern Rocky Mountains Wolf, Canis lupus youngi

Disputed Subspecies and Species

Italian Wolf, Canis lupus italicus
Iberian Wolf, Canis lupus signatus




Wolf Hunting Tactics

Wolf Hunting Tactics



  • Wolves can range in color, from pure white in Arctic populations, to brown, gray, cinnamon and black.
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