Externally, the common gray wolf looks very much like a dog, which is not surprising, because these animals have common ancestors. However, the wolf looks significantly larger. Wolf body length can reach 110-160 cm, tail length - up to 52 cm, height at withers varies from 60 to 90 cm, and body weight of this wild predator can reach up to 80 kg. There were cases when the weight of individual wolves exceeded 92 kg. The average weight of wolves ranges from 30 to 65 kg. The size and weight of wolves depend on geographic location. The colder the climate, the larger the animal.
Males are always larger than females. Animal wolf has a thick, fairly long and warm fur, which consists of two layers, in connection with this wolf looks larger. The first layer of wolf fur is tougher and protects against dirt. The second is a waterproof undercoat, which protects the wolf from the cold and various extremes of nature. The gray wolf animal is very hardy.
The wolf looks menacing and dangerous beast, has a strong muscular body, tall strong paws and a large broad-bellied head with sharp ears. The wolf's elongated and large muzzle with dark stripes is matched by almost white cheeks and light spots in the eye area. The wolf's massive muzzle is also very expressive. The tail of the gray wolf is quite long and is usually downward. Its movement and position allow us to judge about the predator's mood. The wolf has a completely different coloration, depending on the habitat. In the forests it is gray-brown in color. In the tundra it is lighter, almost white. In the desert, it is grayish reddish. There are even white individuals, which are found in the Arctic, as well as red or almost black. The undercoat of the beast is always gray. What is the difference between a wolf and a dog? The common wolf differs from the dog not only externally, but also by its tracks. The gray wolf's tracks are smoother than those of dogs and form an almost straight line. Also the wolf has a different length of trace, which is 9-11 cm and 6-7 cm wide, in wolf it is 7-9 cm and 5-6 cm. The wolf's two middle toes are more forward, the toes are not spread out and form a much more embossed footprint than a dog's.
Where do wolves live? The wolf is an animal that is the most common terrestrial predator. This wild animal has a wide range of habitat. The wolf lives mostly in cold countries and in a variety of landscapes. In forests, prairies, deserts, taiga, tundra, forest-steppe and at the foot of mountains. Wolves inhabit many parts of Europe (from Russia to Portugal), Asia (from Korea to Georgia) and North America (from Alaska to Mexico). Larger wolves inhabit the tundra and smaller wolves inhabit the southern regions. Curiously, in Russia the wolf is absent only on Sakhalin Island. The wolf is a territorial animal. Wolf packs live in conquered areas, the borders of which are marked with tags. In summer, when the wolf pack disintegrates, the occupied territory is divided into several plots. The best one is occupied by the main pair, and the rest of the wolves switch to a nomadic lifestyle. How do wolves live? The wolf is a social animal. Therefore, wolves live in packs; they hunt, play and even howl together. A wolf pack is a family group that consists of animals of different ages and can number from 3 to 40 individuals.
The pack is led by the pack leader, or the packmaster, which is the dominant male wolf. It is the smartest, wisest and strongest male in the wolf pack. The pack leader has a girlfriend, the dominant female. Together they form a pair, thereby uniting other wolves around themselves, which is the wolf pack. A wolf pack has its own hierarchy. The leader of the pack has unquestionable authority. He is a wise leader and he is friendly to all members of the pack. But a wolf meets strangers aggressively. There is often a beta-male in the pack, the most likely successor to the leader.
Usually it is a common son of the leading pair or a brother of the leading male. The aspirant to the head of the pack periodically demonstrates aggression to the alpha male, as if checking his status, as if ready to take his place at any moment. A wolf that left the pack on its own or was expelled is called a lone wolf. Such animals have every chance to create their own pack. Wolves live by relying on their senses. They use those senses to hunt and communicate with other wolves. The animal's excellent hearing allows them to hear a howling wolf seven kilometers away. Their sense of smell is 100 times stronger than that of humans. The gray wolf is able to run at a speed of 55 km/h. Wolves live in packs and each pack has its own hunting area, which animals carefully guard from other wolves. In a pack where the leader keeps order, wolves live peacefully and do not fight. Skirmishes occur with strangers and lone wolves who have violated the boundary of the area. Each wolf pack has its own territory and hunts only in it.