Basic Information
      When you think of a wolf you probably imagine a dog-like animal and place their location in the northern hemisphere. You probably picture the wolf with a group of wolves, roaming together. Actually there are other dog-like animals called canids, the coyote being one of them. Sometimes canids are called wolves but generally with a modifying word. Examples include the Andean wolf, the maned wolf, the painted wolf, the brush wolf (coyote), and the Ethiopian wolf. But these animals are not included when wolves are the topic. Wolves are scientifically called canis lupus which means "wolf dog." They were named as such by Carolus Linneaus, who created a way of classifying animals. (Fuller 11)
      There are two species of wolf: the red wolf and the gray wolf. The red wolf has no subspecies. The gray wolf has 14 subspecies: 5 in North America, 9 in Eurasia. Subspecies are determined using ten dimensions of their skull. Wolves weigh from 35 to 135 pounds. Their color ranges from white to gray to brown or even black. (Gibson 10)
      Wolves are pack animals. Packs are generally about 6 wolves. Scientists use greek letters to signify the pecking order within the pack. The alpha male and alpha female lead and generally are the only wolves who breed. They both raise their leg to mark an area with their scent. They also lead the hunt for prey. (Gibson 10)
      Gray Wolves vary in characteristics like size and color but they are recognized as a single species partially because of their distinctive skulls. (Fuller 11)
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