Have you ever wondered about some of the claims that are out there with regard to our favorite animal? Well, I thought we might be able to put some of these to rest or even push the envelope and find out more about these beasts we care for so much. No matter their size, we love them all and have an affinity for wanting to know more. So here are some quick facts I dug up. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Wolves normal bite force is about 406 lbs. for a 100 lb. wolf. They have 42 teeth that can reach a pressure (which is different than force) of over 1200 psi. Even a charging Rottweiler only has a bite strength of 328 lbs. of force. As wolves use their teeth for catching, killing, and eating their prey, they have to be careful not to damage those incredible teeth as that can cause serious issues.
Dogs are not descendent of the modern day grey wolf, but of an extinct species from about 30,000 years ago. However, due to all of the interbreeding that went on with regard to early man, it is possible that some grey wolf could have been re-introduced into the line many times as wolves would mate with dogs. Then there are also the wolf-dog hybrids which do contain some grey wolf content.
Wolves are extremely timid and shy, they don’t chase or hunt people, and tend to want to get away from humans as soon as they catch our smell. Occasionally, a rabid wolf will enter a city and bite someone, but this is an extremely rare occurrence. Wolf handlers have made mistakes and gotten bit, but not attacked or killed.
Due to the hunting and breeding tendencies, the more confident wolves would not have survived as easily. Hence the line would be passed down to those more timid wolves who would continue breeding and continuing their lineage.
The color of wolves’ eyes (which we all absolutely love) will range from yellow to amber to light brown to dark brown. If there is any blue, this would be a wolf dog hybridization. While they have superior vision, it is not great for long distance, but that is what their noses and ears are for. What makes their vision superior to ours isn’t their range of colors, as they don’t have the ability to see like we do, their ability to detect movement far exceeds our own, particularly in the dark.
Wolves can only breed once a year and they tend to stay with one partner for life. There is about a 50% mortality rate of the cubs and denning only happens when there are cubs. Otherwise, they stay above ground. Cubs start hunting at about 7 months old.
The Alpha Controversy – As we all know wolves have a very particular pack dynamic, one of the things that attracts us to them. Their family hierarchy is similar to humans in that there is a main breeding pair and they stick together. The rest of the pack are the subordinates and each wolf has a job to do, but they all know who runs the pack. When there are pups, everything is done to ensure their survival. Most wolves always leave one wolf home to guard the pups while the others go out hunting. As the pups mature and get to breeding age, some will split off and go create packs of their own. If an alpha is killed, the replacement will be chosen by the remaining alpha. 5 years is the average age of wolves in the wild. Sometimes, if the alpha can no longer produce pups, an unnatural alpha will step in and take over. This can become very dangerous for both the alphas and the pups and upset the whole pack dynamic.
The only true enemy is man, however, other animals like bears have killed wolves, typically in defense of its young. The wolf really is a top predator that really only has to worry about us.
As we all know, the wolves’ sense of smell is so much greater than ours – over 100 times greater. When wolves pant, they have 14 times greater reception of smell than us. The wolf can smell prey up to 1.75 miles away. It is believed that they can even determine the age and gender of other wolves from that distance. This helps them avoid other wolves and predators. Their hearing is 16 times better than ours. They can hear about 6 miles away in a forest and 10 miles away in open terrain. Wolves can hear between 25 kHz and 80 kHz whereas we humans can only hear from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Wolves typically tend to walk about 4 mph, trot about 8 to 10 mph, and run/chase at about 35 mph. However, they don’t run full speed until they are close to their prey. They test their prey first by running hours on end, sometimes up to 60 miles. This wears the weaker animals down so they can exploit any weaknesses.
Please let me know what you think about these facts. Also, if you would like to know anything specific, we will do our best to find the information and put it in the blog.
For now, reach for the stars, believe in yourself, and howl at the moon for the sheer joy of it. Forever Follow the Wolf.