11 Amazing Grey/Gray Wolf Facts for Kids [UPDATED Facts]
There is hardly another example of animals demonstrating the importance of teamwork than the wolves. A part of the Canidae family (dog family), they look like bigger dogs with fur and in groups. In fact, it is quite difficult to distinguish between wolf and dog tracks. Additionally, there are various species of wolves which we will cover later on in the article.
We are sure your kids have heard or seen the depiction of the deadly ‘werewolf’ on the television or in some storybook. While werewolves do not exist, wolves definitely do and they often look like a less threatening version of the ones we see on television.
Does your little one want to know more about these animals? Well, in this article we have gotten together and listed out 11 amazing wolf facts for kids. Grey wolves, more commonly known as wolves, are the largest animals of the dog family and we are sure your little one would love to learn some more information on these majestic animals.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about Wolves for Kids
There is a reason why the House of Stark in the hit TV series Game of Thrones chose their banner to be that of a wolf. Wolves portray teamwork, sacrifice and fearlessness and can strike fear into the hearts of the enemies.
Wolves are no different than what wolves are generally thought to be. They can be both playful as well as ferocious so it is better that you do not mess with them. With that warning and introduction, let us dive into some of the most amazing facts about wolves.
1. They demonstrate strong social bonds
Wolves are pack animals. Every pack is headed by a strong and dominant male called an Alpha and his mate.
The animals in the pack develop very strong bonds with each other. Like their distant cousins, the dogs; wolves too are fiercely loyal to their own and can even choose to sacrifice themselves in order to protect their own.
Packs always stick together and look after each other. They even hunt together and their sheer number of strength allows them to overpower preys that are much bigger than them in size.
2. The wolves howl for a lot of reasons
If there is one thing we know about wolves, then that is their howl. Often we come across paintings and pictures of a single wolf howling with the moon against its background.
Well, that is indeed true; especially during moonlit nights, wolves tend to howl more. There can a lot of reasons for wolves to howl; to alert the pack of an approaching enemy, to locate lost pack members or sometimes just for no reason.
Just like how dogs can start barking for no reason when they hear other dogs barking, wolves too start howling when they hear others howling.
3. Grey wolves are the largest living animal of the dog family
The Canidae family is a huge family consisting of dogs, foxes, wolves, and coyotes. When it comes to dogs, we know that there are so many different kinds of them.
Same goes for the other members of the family. Wolves and foxes too have lots of varieties and when we put all of them together, here is one animal that trumps over others in terms of size. That is the grey wolf; the largest of all in the Canidae family.
4. Wolves are territorial animals
Wolves are territorial animals that barely leave their own territory unless they want to expand. They use urine to mark their territories and do not take kindly on other wolves to trespass into their land.
Often packs may fight over food or territory and the losing pack is either banished from their land or killed.
5. Wolves can be serious marathon running competitors!
Yes, you read that right. Although we know that wolves are quite agile and fast hunters, what is amazing is that they can track their prey for long. Wolves are known for tracking their prey for long hours and distances in order to eat.
So basically, one animal cannot exactly run and hide from wolves. Scary!
6. They have a very varied diet
Wolves have a surprisingly varied diet which can consist of meat from other animals like smaller mammals, or even bigger mammals in case the pack attacks together and in a coordinated fashion.
They can also feed on insects and birds but the most surprising fact is that they even love eating fruits!
7. When the young ones are ready to come out of the den, they are fed half-chewed food
When the pups for the wolves are born, they are pretty much helpless. They cannot hear or see anything and must be kept inside the den and nursed by the mother.
Soon they open their eyes and after a few months, they come out of the den to join the rest of the pack to learn hunting. Before that, they are made to eat half-chewed and partially digested food that the pack members regurgitate for them so that they are used to the taste of meat.
8. Wolf pups can love with the family for up to 2 years
Usually, the pups of the gray wolf couple will stay with the family for almost 2 years if not more. The females help take care of the pups while the young males teach the pups how to hunt.
After this, usually the males will break off to form their own packs and females will join some other packs if they meet their mate.
9. Wolves find a place in many folklores years
Grey wolves and wolves in general, have always had a place in folklore and mythology. Whether it is the ferocious werewolf or some other beast, ‘lycans’ have been famous in old stories.
Greek mythology makes a reference to wolves; possibly the oldest reference ever to werewolves. The story goes that a man named Lycaon angered the King of Gods, Zeus by serving him a plate of human flesh. As a result, Zeus turned him into a wolf.
10. Wolves have complicated communication system
Communication in the wolf community can be very complicated. One needs to understand the various sounds they are making, their tail movements and body subtleties to understand the message being sent.
They also use the sense of smell to communicate with each other
11. A lone wolf is a wolf that is not a part of any pack
Often, due to some reason or the other, a wolf is excluded from the pack. Maybe that he tried to undermine the Alpha, or he went rogue on his own. It is said that a lone wolf is extremely dangerous as they do not belong to any packs.
Different Types of Wolves
There are a lot of different varieties of wolves and they are found all over the globe. While wolves themselves are a part of the larger Canidae family, wolves in themselves can be of different types-
- Gray/Grey Wolf or Timber wolves: Considered to be the largest of the wolves, these wolves are, as their name suggests have grey fur and are considered to be the common ancestor for all wolves.
- Tundra Wolf: As the name already suggests, these wolves can be found in the tundra region of Eurasia, mainly Russia. They are quite large with brownish-grey furs.
- Arabian Wolf: Arabian wolves are generally found in the desert areas and are known to be one of the smallest wolf species. They are also very thin.
- Steppe Wolf: Found throughout Kazakhstan and northern Ukraine, these medium sized wolves play an important role in the steppe ecosystem.
- Himalayan Wolf: Believed to be a subspecies of the Mongolian wolf, these wolves are found throughout Indian and the Himalayas. They prefer living on grasslands but are found in a variety of landscapes.
- Mongolian Wolf: As the name suggests, these wolves can be found throughout Mongolia, China, and some parts of Russia as well. These wolves are unfortunately nearing the status of endangered.
- Arctic Wolf: Sporting thick, white fur, these wolves are specially adapted to living in the freezing cold weather of the Arctic. In case you want to know more about these wolves, check out our article on them here- 11 Amazing Arctic Wolf Facts for Kids.
- Mexican wolf: These gorgeous-looking wolves are mostly dark in color and are one of the rarest species of wolves in North America.
- Hudson Bay Wolf: With looks very similar to that of the Arctic wolf, the Hudson Bay wolves have a falter head which can be the distinguishing feature between them and the Arctic wolves. These wolves generally do not come in contact with human beings at all.
There are many more versions of the wolves depending on the area, but we have listed out only the most common types of wolves known around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Baby wolves are called pups.
Pups can stay with their mother for up to 2 years.
Wolves are known for their pack mentality and high social order in the packs.
The scientific name for a wolf is Canis lupus.
Wolves are also known as Gray/Grey Wolves, Timber Wolves, Tundra Wolves, Lobo, and Prairie Wolves.
The mother wolf is often called the Luna or Fae.
Wolves are generally carnivores and would feed on meat by hunting smaller mammals. Occasionally, if they attack in a group, they can kill bigger animals. They also can eat fruits, but that is very rare.
For the first few weeks, feed on the milk from the mother and later they are fed half-digested food before finally eating meat.
Wolves generally do not eat every day, they might eat 20 pounds of meat when they kill and then fast for the next few days.
Wolves can be found in Asia, North America, Europe, and North Africa and they prefer living in dens and grasslands.
Yes, there are some wolves, like the Arabian wolves that live in the desert.
Wolves can be found in many countries of Asia, North America, North Africa, and Europe.
While it is not clear exactly how the wolves evolved, it is believed that they evolved from a primitive carnivorous animal called miacids which existed a few million years ago.
In the wild, wolves generally live between 8 to 13 years.
On an average, wolves can weigh between 80 to 120 pounds.
Wolves can be as big as 100 to 106 cm in length and 80 to 85 cm at shoulder height.
The Russian Grey Wolf is the largest wolf
Wolves can run up to 40 miles per hour and can run up to 2 miles at a stretch.
Wolves can sleep anywhere between 6 to 8 hours but they hardly go into deep sleep.
A group of wolves is called a pack.
Usually, in a pack, there are 8 to 10 wolves.
Yes, wolves do hunt in packs as they can take down a bigger prey with their numbers.
Wolves keep moving in packs and can move up to 30 miles in a day.
Wolves have the covering of thick fur which helps them survive winter and regulate body temperature.
Yes, wolves have whiskers on their faces.
The first proper wolf is believed to have appeared about a million years ago.
Wolves communicate by smell, their howls, and tail positions.
In an open terrain, a howl of a wolf can be heard up to 10 miles.
Although there is no direct reason for this, wolves indeed howl when the moon is visible.
In the open terrain, wolves can hear up to 10 miles and in the forest, 6 miles.
Wolves can smell up to 3 yards to a mile away.
Yes, wolves have much better eyesight than human beings.
Yes, wolves can see in the dark.
Wolves can see everything in yellow, blue, and grey colors.
During leisure time, wolves play, pounce around and pay hide-seek and tag!
Wolves mark their territories with urine.
Other than diseases and parasites, grizzly bears, polar bears, and tigers can prey on wolves.
Wolves are great hunters and can fight back to protect themselves. Additionally, it can also call for its pack members
That was it, folks! You have reached the end of the article ’11 Amazing Gray Wolf Facts for Kids.’ We hope you and your little one had a great time learning about these apex predators. Have a great day ahead!