What Are Arctic Wolves? Discover The Mind Boggling Facts About Arctic Wolves
Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Ephraim Iyodo
Arctic Wolves are definitely super species and they are astonishing facts about arctic wolves.
The Arctic wolf is a subspecies of the grey wolf (Canis lupus). Arctic wolves inhabit some of the most inhospitable places in the world, where the air temperature rarely rises above -30 degrees Celsius (-22 ° F), and the earth is constantly frozen.
They are one of the few mammal species that can tolerate these harsh conditions.
Arctic wolves are usually smaller than gray wolves, and also have smaller ears, slightly shorter snouts, and shorter legs to reduce exposure to cold air.
They live singly or in packs of about 6 wolves and are usually all white with very thick, insulating fur.
Mind Blowing Facts About Arctic Wolves
As Cursorial Animals, There is definitely going to have some interesting facts about the arctic wolf;
- Arctic wolf can reach 3 to 6 feet in length and 75 to 150 pounds of weight.
- Arctic wolf has white-colored, thick double coat which prevents freezing in the extremely cold environment. Inner part of the fur is waterproof.
- Arctic wolf is smaller than grey wolf and has shorter legs, smaller ears and shorter muzzle compared with other types of wolves. It has padded feet which facilitate movement across the frozen ground.
- Besides low temperatures, Arctic wolf tolerates complete darkness which lasts 5 months per year.
- Arctic wolf has keen sense of hearing, smell and eyesight, which are used for identification of potential prey.
Arctic wolf is a carnivore. Its diet is based on the Arctic fox, caribou, muskoxen, Arctic hare, lemming and seals.
- Arctic wolf has strong jaws filled with 42 sharp teeth designed to tear flesh and crush bones. Arctic wolf consumes more than 20 pounds of meat per meal.
- Arctic wolf lives in packs of 5 to 7 (occasionally up to 20) members, or rarely on its own. Packs use urine and scent to mark the borders of their territories. Thanks to their cooperative hunting strategy, Arctic wolves can easily kill very large prey.
- Large kill usually lasts few days. All members of the pack take their turn to protect carcass from other animals (scavengers) in between the meals.
- Arctic wolf is very fast animal. It can reach the speed of 40 miles per hour when it chases prey.
- Arctic wolves communicate via sounds (growling) and position of their tail.
- Natural enemies of Arctic wolves are other packs of Arctic wolves and polar bears.
- Only leaders of the pack mate (alpha male and female). Female gives birth to 2 to 3 pups (or rarely up to 12) during the spring. Pups are blind, deaf and helpless at birth. They spend first couple of months hidden inside a den. At the age of 3 months, young Arctic wolves are ready to join the pack together with their mother.
- Until they become ready to hunt with the rest of the pack, youngsters consume partially digested food which other members of the pack regurgitate after the hunt.
- Arctic wolf can survive 7 to 10 years in the wild and 14 to 20 years in the captivity.
- When Arctic wolves hunt as a pack, one adult member will always remain behind as a puppy sitter.
- Arctic wolves travel much further than wolves of the forest when looking for food, and they sometimes do not eat for several days.
- The Arctic wolf can cope with sub-zero temperatures as well as 5 months of total darkness each year.
- During the winter, these wolves grow a second layer of fur to protect themselves against the cold.
- Like many other animals, such as domestic dogs, Arctic wolves have a mechanism that maintains their paws at a temperature lower than the body core, thus minimizing heat loss in them, although they are in contact with the frozen ground. Blood going into their paws heats blood that is leaving, preventing their core from getting cooled by the loss of heat through their feet. The feet of ducks and penguins have similar mechanisms.
- All wolf pups are born with blue eyes, these later changing to a brown or golden color.
Apart from all these dope facts about the arctic wolf, have you asked yourself what are the;
Habits and lifestyle of these animals
Arctic wolves are a social species and live in packs numbering seven to eight related animals.
Within the pack there is a very complex social order, and every member has its place in the dominance hierarchy. Each wolf knows its position through body posture communication.
The pack’s leader is a male, and usually only he and the dominant female mate.
However, all pack members share the responsibility of looking after the pups.
These animals do not hibernate, because during the winter much of the species they prey on is especially active at this time.
They are awake either during the day or at night, but are generally diurnal.
Arctic wolves hunt in packs and then share the kill. A wolf has a few different means of communication.
They howl for many reasons, such as signaling their location to other pack members or bringing members together for a hunt.
A howl can also warn neighboring wolves to stay away from their territory.
They use scent markings to communicate territorial boundaries, as well as their presence, to other wolves.
Arctic wolves are a monogamous species and the alpha male and beta female are the only ones that are allowed to mate.
Breeding takes place in winter from January to March. After gestation of 61-63 days, 5 to 7 pups are born, each weighing about a pound.
The newborns are brown in color, and are helpless, being blind and deaf, and they depend upon the whole pack to protect them.
Their eyes open in about 10 days. Their mother is very protective, not allowing other pack members into the den until the pups are two weeks old.
Pups are weaned after about two months. After these early stages of development, the fathers help raise the pups by teaching them to play and hunt.
Pups are strong enough at six months old to travel, and will join the rest of the pack to learn survival skills.
Males are sexually mature at one year old and females at about the age of two.