Life Span: 7-16 years
Average Adult Length: 50-65 in.
Average Tail Length: 11-18 in.
Hind Foot: 8-10 in.
Average Weight: 45-100 lbs.
Color: Usually a shade of gray, but can be black,
white, brown, or any variance in
Canis lupus comes from the domain Eukarya, the kingdom
Animalia, the phylum Chordata which includes
all chordates. Its class is of Mammalia, which houses
all mammals. The order of Carnivora, which pertains to mammals
that eat other mammals like cats, and bears. The
Gray wolf is in the family of Canidae which includes
all wolves and foxes. Finally to the genus of Canis, all dogs,
and the species of Canis lupus the Gray
The Gray wolf originated in the Western
Hemisphere about 15 million years ago
(Origins pg. 3). The Gray wolf is the largest
of three species of wolves.
There are five subspecies: Alaskan wolves, Artic
wolves, Easter Timber wolves, Great Plains
wolves, and Mexican wolves.
They are on the Endangered Species list with efforts
to bring the population up (www.californiawolfcenter.org).
A pack can range from two wolves to 36 with the average of
six wolves. There is a set of "alpha" parents that are the main
breeding pair. The rest of the pack is made up of the last two
to three litters and other subordinate wolves. Most
activities are initiated by the alpha pair, but any of the
wolves in the pack can initiate
an activity (Leadership Behavior in relation to dominance and
reproductive status in gray wolves, Canis lupus).