by Melanie Gill

A Few Types of North American Wolves:

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Eastern Timber Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon)
Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus)
Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos)


Around the world, wolves live in a variety of habitats, from arctic tundra to forest, prairie, and arid landscapes.

The structure of a pack:

Alpha pair: These wolves lead the pack, and are usually the ones who get to mate.
Beta wolf\wolves: In larger packs, there may be "second in comand" wolves.
Omega wolf: The lowest member of the pack. It often acts as a babysitter and have very little freedom.


Normally, the alpha pair of the pack is the only one to breed. Other pairs might breed, but they risk their puppies not having the full support of the pack.
Wolves breed between January and April, with northern populations breeding later in the season than southern populations.
A female wolf is pregnant sixty days on average.
Litter size can range from just one puppy to fourteen puppies, though the average pack size is around six or seven pups.
Pups remain in the den until they are eight to ten weeks old. The first 3 weeks are spent with the female. Pups are cared for by all members of the pack.
Until they are around fourty-five days old, pups eat food that has been regurgitated by other pack members. After that they are fed normal meat.


Wolves communicate in three main ways: Body Posture, Scent, and Vocalizations

Body Posture:

Dominance: Stiff legged and tall. Ears are erect and forward, and the tail is held up high.
Submission: The wolf's body is lowered. The back may be arched and the tail is usually between the legs. This position is often accompanied by soft whimpering.
Aggression: An agressive wolf will snarl and have bristle his fur.
Happiness: Just like dogs, happy wolves wag their tails.
Playfulness: The tail is high and wagging, and the wolf may place its lower body close to the ground, just like domestic dogs.


Wolves can smell things from over 3 kilometers away.
They often mark their territory with urine or feces.


Howling: Howling has two main purposes: to keep wolves in the same pack in communication, and to communicate between packs.
Yipping: Yipping is used as sort of an alarm, meaning something is wrong.
Whimpering: Whimpering is usually a sign of pain or submission.
Growling: Growling is a sign of aggression.