Tag Archives: Wolf

The gray wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf or western wolf, is a canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of Eurasia and North America. It is the largest extant member of its family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb), and females 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb).

European Gray Wolf (Canis lupus lupus)

European Gray Wolf (Canis lupus lupus)

The red wolf (Canis rufus/Canis lupus rufus), also known as the Florida wolf or Mississippi Valley wolf is a canid of unresolved taxonomic identity native to the eastern United States. It is generally, morphologically, an intermediate between the coyote and gray wolf, and is of a reddish, tawny color.

Red Wolf (Canis lupus rufus)

Red wolf (Canis rufus/Canis lupus rufus)

Wolves once ranged the majority of the world’s northern hemisphere and were adapted to a wide variety of ecosystems. Wolf numbers are now vastly reduced in these areas for a number of reasons:

  • Reduction of wild habitat (which influences prey density and availability)
  • Government policies in the last century to extirpate wolves (hunt them to extinction)
  • Current wolf conservation policies that vary from state to state
  • Wolves seen as competition to humans (wolf predation on ranches and farms)
  • Lack of accurate scientific knowledge about wolves, creating fear and misunderstanding
  • Currently, wild wolf populations representing two distinct species of wolf are found in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa – the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and the red wolf (Canis rufus).

Sources

Largest prehistoric mammals

After the extinction of the dinosaurs, approximately 66 million years ago, the rise of mammals begun. There were mammals on earth before that date, but after the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event (a mass extinction of some three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth—including all non-avian dinosaurs), mammals took over the medium- to large-sized ecological niches.

Some of them reached enormous sizes, usually they were larger than today’s counterparts (with the exception of whales). Here are some of the largest known prehistoric mammals.
Continue reading Largest prehistoric mammals