Related topics: predators

Scientists find that wolves can show attachment toward humans

When it comes to showing affection towards people, many dogs are naturals. Now, a new study in the journal Ecology and Evolution reports that the remarkable ability to show attachment behavior toward human caregivers also ...

Ancient Siberian dogs relied on humans for seafood diets

As early as 7,400 years ago, Siberian dogs had evolved to be far smaller than wolves, making them more dependent on humans for food including sea mammals and fish trapped below the ice, a new study showed Friday.

Do wolves sleep like dogs?

Researchers at the Department of Ethology at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, have measured the sleep of the dog's wild counterpart, the wolf, for the first time. Their new study was published in Scientific Reports.

Scientists react to planned cull of Swedish wolves

The Swedish Parliament recently presented its ambition to drastically reduce number of wolves in Sweden—from approximately 400 down to approximately 200. Scientists are now reacting to this goal. In a letter published in ...

Bring back the wolves, but not as heroes or villains

In a new finding that goes against current conservation paradigms, re-introducing wolves and other predators to our landscapes does not miraculously reduce deer populations, restore degraded ecosystems or significantly threaten ...

How wolf personalities can alter wetlands

Can wolf personalities change ecosystems? According to the latest research from the Voyageurs Wolf Project, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, they can.

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Gray Wolf

The grey wolf or gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf or simply wolf, is the largest wild member of the Canidae family. It is an ice age survivor originating during the Late Pleistocene around 300,000 years ago. DNA sequencing and genetic drift studies reaffirm that the gray wolf shares a common ancestry with the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris). Although certain aspects of this conclusion have been questioned, including recently, the main body of evidence confirms it. A number of other gray wolf subspecies have been identified, though the actual number of subspecies is still open to discussion. Gray wolves are typically apex predators in the ecosystems they occupy. Though not as adaptable as more generalist canid species, wolves have thrived in temperate forests, deserts, mountains, tundra, taiga, grasslands, and even urban areas.

Though once abundant over much of Eurasia and North America, the gray wolf inhabits a very small portion of its former range because of widespread destruction of its territory, human encroachment of its habitat, and the resulting human-wolf encounters that sparked broad extirpation. Even so, the gray wolf is regarded as being of least concern for extinction according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, when the entire gray wolf population is considered as a whole. Today, wolves are protected in some areas, hunted for sport in others, or may be subject to extermination as perceived threats to livestock and pets.

In areas where human cultures and wolves are sympatric, wolves frequently feature in the folklore and mythology of those cultures, both positively and negatively.

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