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601 illustration

Grey wolf

Canis lupus

The grey wolf is the largest wild member of the canine family. Grey wolves range in colour from cream or white to grey or black. Adult wolves can be up to 70 or 80 centimetres tall at the shoulder; between 140 and 200 centimetres long; and around 60 kilograms in weight. They live for around eight years in the wild.

Grey wolves can be found in Northern America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. They adapt to various habitats and can live in forests or grasslands.

Grey wolves live in packs with between eight and 35 members, led by the alpha wolf. Pairs remain together for life. Wolf cubs are born blind but within three to five months they are able to travel with the pack. Grey wolves communicate with each other by howling, body language and scent. They use their faces and tails to indicate their feelings and their position in the pack. They are carnivores and eat anything from field mice to large mammals. The loss of wolves in ecosystems can lead to overpopulation by other animal species. The main threats to the wolf are humans and tigers.

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