The animal that scares, surprises with its cunning and cruelty. It envelops the aura of mystique, and a prolonged howl makes the blood freeze in his veins. Since ancient times, about wolves, many legends and stories. Examining where the wolf lives, what it eats and how it lives can come close to understanding what kind of a beast.
Where to live and eat the wolf? its color
According to some sources, the ancestors of these animals lived on the Earth several hundred million years ago and were carnivorous predators. At the moment, the kind of wolves is small, and in addition to them includes coyotes and jackals, although only wolf family has as many as 32 subspecies of these animals. Wolf also is a distant ancestor of the domestic dog which we all so habitual and familiar, but nobody even thinks that in faithful animal blood free of the hunter.
Historically, these animals lived on the territory of Eurasia and North America. As a result of human activities the population of wolves has significantly decreased and distributed across the globe. In countries such as Holland, Japan, Belgium, France and Switzerland with their already completely destroyed.
According to the latest data, habitat was recorded in
- North and South America
In Russia, home to several species of forest raptors, of which most common common and tundra. They are distributed throughout the territory, except the areas of the Kuril Islands and Sakhalin. These animals are very adaptable to different climates. Because of this, its habitat covers a variety of different natural zones: the plains, the rocky terrain, deserts and semi-deserts, tundra and forests.
In areas where the wolf lives usually plain and mountainous areas with a temperate climate and sparse vegetation. Very often they settle near places where people live that allows them to easily find food in hard times. But, despite such dangerous proximity with a wild predator, in nature, it rarely attacks man.
What and who feeds a forest wolf
They don’t call them “orderlies of the forest”, but what feeds the wolf to deserve this “glory”? “The kings of the forest” trying to prey on weakened or unhealthy animals. Daily predator could eat up to five kilograms of meat and drink about a liter of water.
The diet depends on the habitat of the animal. Mostly hoofed animals: in the forest — deer, elk, wild boar; in the deserts and steppe — antelopes; on the territory of the tundra — reindeer. In addition, animals are loners and hunt for smaller prey: rodents and mice, birds, squirrels and other small animals may attack livestock or dogs.
Overall, the diet is varied and can include:
- watermelons, melons
Even despite the fact that it is a very hardy animal and can live without food for about two weeks, they often die from lack of food, that significantly reduces their population.
In some languages the word “wolf” in tune with the words of a predator: the Ukrainian — wolf, the Serbian — Vuk, on the Bulgarian — walk. Very Russian word derived from the proto-Slavic vylchi, which means “to drag”, “drag”. This etymology reflects its predatory nature. They are pack animals. Each flock usually consists of from eight to fifteen animals of different ages.
In some periods, when enough food in the pack can accommodate up to 30 individuals. The offspring stay with the parents for up to 10-14 months and then leaves the family. Thus, appear lone wolves who later find a mate and create a new pack, or continue to live and hunt alone.
In a wolf pack
All animals in the flock be sure to adhere to its strict hierarchy. In her head — the leader, who governs all the rest. He leads the pack on hunting and permits arising between other wolves conflicts. In the pack there is a very interesting custom of greeting the leader. Expressing their loyalty and respect, the members of the pack closer to the leader and his companion with a tight-pursed tails and begin to lick and gently nibble on their heads.
The night hunters have a very developed language of gestures, facial expressions and voice range. There is a misconception that they howl at the moon, but actually they are all big fans of “choral singing”. Howling they convey important messages, according to your location and scare off outsiders. The sight, smell and hearing wolves evolved hundreds of times better than humans. A developed intellect helps them to navigate, avoid danger, to find unusual methods of hunting. For example, there are cases when one part hunting wolves hiding in ambush, and the other catching up on their victim.
Some brave souls having a wild predator as a pet. He is easy to train, but executes the commands only if it interested him. In contrast, pliable puppies of the wolf, an adult becomes much more aggressive and often tries to compete with man for chief in the pack. Interestingly, the lifespan of a wolf in captivity can reach 20 years, and the nature they live in average of 8 to 16 years.
Colour and appearance the timber wolf
In appearance all resemble the wolf a big dog and a description of the wolf might be a bit different. Average size and weight varies depending on habitat — the colder, the bigger the animal. The weight of Mature predator can be from 30 to 62 pounds, height at withers 60 — 86 cm, length from 100 to 150 centimeters. The largest species are considered grey and Arctic wolves, and the smallest representatives of the wolf and the Arabian wolf.
Body “king of the forest” more muscular than dogs. The tail is also different — it is more long and thick, and was nicknamed “the log” hunters. The muzzle is elongated, with sharp ears. In the jaws of a predator 42 sharp teeth designed to tear the flesh of the prey and crushed bones. Puppies are born with blue eyes. With age, eye color becomes orange or Golden yellow. Some individuals remain blue-eyed for life.
The fur of the wolf is very thick, warm and reliable, as it has a dense undercoat which does not get wet in water. Color different subspecies may be quite different and often matches the environment. The best known and most common in the Central Russia forest, they have gray-brown, with a mixture of ocher, the color of wool. This subspecies is often called the Central Russian. These wolves live in forests of Central Russia and forest-tundra of Western Siberia. The mixing of different colors in the color of the cat emphasizes the individuality and adds the predator in the flavor.
A relationship with a man
The history of the relationship between the wolf and man can be described as very complicated and even mystical. These animals are always treated with great care, fear and often respected for strength, agility and fearlessness. In ancient times, Vikings drank the blood of a wolf before a battle to raise their morale, and in the Medieval times wolves were called servants of the devil and was used as mystical characters of fairy tales and legends.
Zoologists do not know everything about wolves, but the study of lifestyle and habits is still ongoing.