The gray wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus) is a species of canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. It is the largest member of its family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb), and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). It is similar in general appearance and proportions to a German shepherd, or sled dog, but has a larger head, narrower chest, longer legs, straighter tail and bigger paws. Its winter fur is long and bushy, and is usually mottled gray in color, though it can range from nearly pure white, red, or brown to black.

Within the genus Canis, the gray wolf represents a more specialised and progressive form than its smaller cousins (the coyote and golden jackal), as demonstrated by its morphological adaptations to hunting large prey, its more gregarious nature and its highly advanced expressive behavior. It is a social animal, travelling in nuclear families consisting of a mated pair, accompanied by the pair's adult offspring. The gray wolf is typically an apex predator throughout its range, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it. It feeds primarily on large ungulates, though it will also eat smaller animals, livestock, carrion, and garbage.

The gray wolf is one of the world's most well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species. It has a long history of association with humans, having been despised and hunted in most agricultural communities due to its attacks on livestock, while conversely being respected by some Native American tribes. It is the sole ancestor of the dog, which was first domesticated in the Middle East. Although the fear of wolves is prevalent in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is unusual, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have been taught to fear humans by hunters and shepherds. Hunting and trapping has reduced the species' range to about one third, though its still relatively widespread range and stable population means that the species is not threatened at a global level, and is therefore classified by the IUCN as Least Concern.

Read more about WolfEtymology, Range and Conservation, Diseases and Parasites

Other articles related to "wolf":

Werewolves In Fiction - Lists - TV Movies and Mini-series
... Moon of the Wolf (1972) Scream of the Wolf (1974) The Halloween That Almost Wasn't (1979) (aka The Night Dracula Saved the World) The Adventures of a Two-Minute ... Wolf, one of the main characters, is half-wolf and the grandson of Little Red Riding Hood ... Wolf Girl (2001) Nature of the Beast (2007) Being Human (2008 pilot and 2009 series) WerewolvesThe Dark Survivors (Animal Planet 2 hour show about the life of werewolves though the eyes of a ...
Teen Wolf - Sequels and Influence
... in 1986, and a sequel in 1987 titled Teen Wolf Too, with Jason Bateman starring as Todd Howard, Scott's cousin ... Another female version of Teen Wolf was in the works that later developed into 1989's Teen Witch ... Three years prior to the release of Teen Wolf saw the release of Full Moon High, an unsuccessful comedy with the teenage werewolf theme ...
Arctic Wolf - Habitat and Distribution
... The arctic wolf inhabits the Canadian Arctic and the islands, parts of Alaska and northern part of Greenland ... The arctic wolf is the only subspecies of the Gray Wolf that still can be found over the whole of its original range, largely because, in their natural habitat, they rarely encounter humans ... The arctic wolf is also the only subspecies of wolf which is not threatened - their remote home means that they are relatively safe from man's activities, both in terms of hunting and habitat ...
Werewolves In Fiction - History - Twentieth Century
... in 1941's The Wolf Man to capture the public imagination ... the now-famous rhyme Even a man who is pure in heart And says his prayers by night May become a wolf When the wolfbane blooms And the autumn moon is bright ... though at the climax of the film the Wolf Man is actually dispatched with a silver-headed cane ...
Arctic Wolf
... The arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), also called polar wolf or white wolf, is a subspecies of the gray wolf, a mammal of the family Canidae ...

Famous quotes containing the word wolf:

    Is it the old, legendary monster of my father’s time? Or am I supposed to have whipped one up, as a housewife whips up an omelette?
    Willis Cooper, and Rowland V. Lee. Wolf von Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone)

    A wolf will walk a thousand miles to eat people: a dog half way to heaven will still eat dung.
    Chinese proverb.

    Our ancestors were savages. The story of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf is not a meaningless fable. The founders of every state which has risen to eminence have drawn their nourishment and vigor from a similar wild source. It was because the children of the Empire were not suckled by the wolf that they were conquered and displaced by the children of the northern forests who were.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)