interesting facts about arctic wolves for kids

Arctic wolves are one of the most beautiful looking creatures in the world, also known as the white wolf. These majestic, white-furred wolves are only found in the northern parts of America, Greenland, and Siberia.

These wolves are smaller versions of the well-known Grey wolves and share a lot of characteristics with them.

Does your little one want to know more than about these majestic animals? In that case, you can read on as we have gathered some information and made a list of 11 amazing facts about Arctic wolves for kids.

11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Arctic Wolves for Kids

Arctic wolves are true animals of the North. They have adapted in certain ways which help them survive the harsh weather of the North. They have double-layered waterproof fur, smaller ears, legs, and muzzle to reduce heat loss.

They are pack animals and love socializing as well. They communicate with each other and work together to hunt and protect their territory.

Now, with that introduction out of the way, let us take a look at the various facts about these animals.

1. They have two layers of fur and one of them is waterproof

Arctic wolves are animals that are made for the weather in the Arctic. They have adapted in ways that would otherwise make it extremely difficult for them to survive the harsh weather of the Arctic.

They have a white coat that is thick to withstand the cold, strong winds. In fact, their coats have two layers of which the inner one is waterproof. Isn’t that just fascinating?

2. They have evolved in a way that makes sure they don’t have a lot of heat loss

Like most animals that have adapted to their environment in order to suit their needs, Arctic wolves too, have evolved in certain ways.

For example, they are smaller than grey wolves and have shorter legs. They have smaller ears and shorter muzzles. This helps in reducing the amount of heat loss and it keeps the wolves warm.

They also have padded feet which help them walk on the frozen grounds. Also, the Arctic wolves are capable of surviving in total darkness which lasts for 5 months.

3. Arctic wolves are pack animals

Just like other species of wolves, Arctic wolves are pack animals as well. This means that they travel in a group called a pack. Usually, a pack will have up to 7 to 10 members and sometimes, but rarely, 20 members.

There have been instances where pack battles were fought to determine territories. Often smaller and weaker packs merge with bigger packs for a sense of security and to get a supply of food.

The pack system of the wolves is very similar to how organizational structure works in human society. They use their urine to mark their territories.

4. Arctic wolves have great senses to help them survive the cold

When it comes to surviving freezing temperatures, only an adaptable body that keeps one warm is not enough. One needs other senses to work at their full capacity to survive and locate food.

Luckily, Arctic wolves have amazing senses of hearing, smell, and eyesight. This helps them locate their prey easily and also helps them to escape predators.

5. Wolves maintain a high social order

We have already seen that wolves live in packs. This means that they need to have some sort of order so that there are no intra-pack fights. This is where the social order comes in.

Every pack has an Alpha, the male wolf who leads the pack. The alpha is usually determined by the strength and dominance power of the males who fight for it.

There are other positions called beta and omega. Betas are right below the alpha and omegas are the smallest and weakest members of the pack. One has to follow the lead of the alpha in order to live in the pack.

6. All members of the pack take responsibility for food

Arctic wolves, we already know are pack animals. As a result, all the members of the pack are responsible for the food of the pack.

All of the members are expected to participate in hunting and the kill is always brought to the pack. Keep in mind, when I say all members of the pack that excludes the pups who are unable to take care of themselves.

7. They have unique ways of communicating

Like most animals, wolves too need to communicate with each other. Adding on the fact that they live in packs, communication is of utmost importance.

Hence, Arctic wolves communicate with each other with various sounds, like growling or squeaking. They also can send various messages by their tails. Yes, the position of the tail of a wolf is a way of communicating with the other wolves.

8. The babies born are helpless at birth and are hidden away

Usually, the wolves are very careful when it comes to giving birth to babies. To make sure that there are not too many pups to feed as food can be scarce in the Arctic, only the Alpha and his partner give birth; no other member of the pack does.

Usually, the female gives birth to 2 or 3 pups, and rarely, there are cases where 12 pups were born. They are deaf, blind, and helpless at birth and need to be sheltered away in the den to make sure they survive.

9. Once ready to hunt, pups feed to partially digested food

Yes, you read the correctly! At the age of 3 months, the pups are ready to join the pack and start learning how to hunt. In order to do that, there is something that they do first.

It takes some time for the younger ones to get adept at hunting and till that time, they consume the partially digested food. The members of the pack regurgitate that after a hunt.

10. They are carnivores and great at hunting

It is no longer a surprise that wolves are carnivorous animals. This means that they consume meat from other animals. They feed on lemmings, seals, and sometimes their smaller-sized cousins, the Arctic foxes.

On average, one wolf can consume 20 pounds of meat in one day. Because they move in a pack, they can often take down preys that are bigger than them in size. All the team members will take turns to keep the scavengers away as a big kill can last them for a few days.

11. They are the only species of wolves that are not threatened

This is good news, right here. Usually, due to human interference, any species of wolves have been under threat of some kind. However, that is not the case for the arctic wolves. They are probably the only species of wolves who are not threatened.

This is mainly because of their habitat. Humans do not generally venture into the freezing temperature of the Arctic. Although that was not usually the case, as earlier, hunters did hunt down these beautiful creatures. But that does not happen anymore.

They have some threats due to climate change, but so far, these animals are considered to be safe.

Arctic Wolf vs. Arctic Fox- What are the Major Differences

Do you ever think what might be the difference between Arctic wolves and Arctic foxes? Well, they are both from the Canidae family of Canada and share some features. But they are different species and here, we have noted a few differences between them-

  • The arctic foxes are the smallest of the dog family in the Arctic and they are the size of a domestic cat. On the other hand, Arctic wolves are much larger in size but are smaller than Grey Wolves
  • Unlike the Arctic foxes, Arctic wolves do not change the color of their furs.
  • Arctic wolves have often hunted Arctic foxes as they are much smaller in size. This proves that the Arctic wolves are significantly stronger than their cousin foxes.

In case you want to know more about the Arctic foxes, you can check out our article on the same here- 11 Amazing Arctic Fox Facts for Kids

Arctic Wolf vs. Grey Wolf- Major Differences

The Arctic wolves are smaller subspecies of the Grey wolves. They share similar characteristics although there are certain differences between them due to their habitats. Let us take a look at those differences-

  • Arctic wolves are usually smaller in size than Grey wolves. An adult Arctic wolf can weigh between 75 to 101 pounds. Grey wolves on the other hand can weigh anywhere between 75 to 125 pounds.
  • Arctic wolves grow up to 3 to 6 feet in length whereas grey wolves grow 4 to 7 feet.
  • Lastly, grey wolves, as the name suggests have grey fur covering their bodies whereas Arctic wolves have double-layered white fur to protect them against the freezing temperature of the Arctic.

If you are interested in knowing some more amazing facts about the gray wolf, you can read our article – 11 Captivating Fun Facts about Grey Wolves for Kids

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How big are arctic wolves?

An adult Arctic wolf can weigh between 75 to 101 pounds and can grow anywhere between 3 to 6 feet.

How long do arctic wolves live?

Arctic wolves can survive in the wild for 5 to 7 years but in captivity, they can survive between 10 to 15 years.

Where do arctic wolves live?

Arctic wolves live in packs and reside in dens. They are usually found in the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland.

What is the Arctic Wolf’s scientific name?

The scientific name of the Arctic wolf is Canis lupus arctos.

What do arctic wolves eat?

Arctic wolves are carnivorous animals and can eat meat from other animals that they hunt. Usually, they consume meat from lemming, seals, or Arctic foxes.

Are arctic wolves carnivores?

Yes, Arctic wolves are indeed carnivorous animals and they consume meat.

How do arctic wolves hunt?

Arctic wolves hunt in packs which gives them the chance to corner their prey even if the prey is larger than them. They also look after the kill by taking turns to drive off scavengers.

Where do arctic wolves sleep?

Arctic wolves prefer sleeping out in the open while the nursing females and pups sleep in the den. The wolves sleep within their boundary.

How do arctic wolves communicate?

Arctic wolves communicate by using various sounds and by the position of their tails.

What are arctic wolves’ predators?

Arctic wolves, owing to their size, nature, and being a part of a pack, barely have any natural predators except polar bears. These big bears are the only known natural predators of Arctic wolves.

Do polar bears eat arctic wolves?

Yes, polar bears are the only known natural predators of Arctic wolves.

Can an arctic wolf swim?

Yes, not only are the Arctic wolves comfortable with water, but they are excellent swimmers as well.

Are arctic wolves endangered?

No, arctic wolves are not endangered.

That is it, folks! You have come to the end of the article, ’11 Amazing Arctic Wolf Facts for Kids.’ Hopefully, you and your little one had a great time reading about the Arctic wolves. These are majestic creatures who understand the importance of teamwork and social order. Have a great day ahead!

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