The Artic Wolves - See Them At The Toronto Zoo, Toronto Ontario
Arctic Wolves have white fur year-round which allows them to blend into their snowy surroundings. Their coat is long and silky with soft, thick under fur. This is shed in the spring and the coat becomes shorter and less dense. The forefeet have five toes and the hind feet have four. The Artic Wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf. Male Arctic wolves generally weigh between 34 - 46 kg, and females between 36 - 38 kg.
The Artic Wolves lives primarily in the Arctic, the region located above 67 degrees north latitude. This is the area along the northern edge of the North American continent and northward to the North Pole, as well as along the eastern and northern shores of Greenland. The land in the Arctic is covered with snow and ice for most of the year except for brief periods during the summer months. Due to scarcity of grazing plants and resulting low density of prey species, wolves roam over large areas hunting for food.
The Artic Wolves are predatory carnivores. They hunt in packs for caribou and musk-oxen. They also consume Arctic hares, ptarmigan, lemmings, and other small animals including nesting birds.
The Artic Wolves live in groups of seven to ten individuals. There is a highly complex social order within wolf packs and each pack has a dominant male and female, who bond for life. Mating between the pair takes place during the breeding season of January through to March.
Wolves communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Clear communication is a key element to the success of a cooperative pack. Body language in tail and ear positions, of body and head angle, making and breaking eye contact, and facial expressions are just a few. Wolves howl for many reasons, to assemble the pack before and after hunts, to locate members of the pack over distances, to warn neighboring packs of their presence, and apparently just for the fun of it. They often howl at a rendezvous site. The wolf's howl can be heard up to 5 km away. They use scent marking to communicate their presence and territory boundaries to other wolves. This can be either urine or feces left on rocks and snow banks along their hunting trails. Wolves have a very good sense of smell. They can detect prey 1.6 km away and can sense an animal three days after it has gone.
* Information provided by The Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario Canada. The Zoo has over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species. With 287 hectares (710 acres) The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world.
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