World Facts

What Is the World's Largest Species of Wolf?

The gray wolf is the world's largest species of wolf.

A wolf is a type of animal that is classified as a carnivore and falls under the Canidae family. It is bigger than its canid family members like the fox, jackal, and coyote. The gray wolf, scientifically known as Canis lupus (c.l), is the largest existing member of the Canidae family. It is mostly found in isolated areas of Eurasia and North America. The gray wolf also has other subspecies. These subspecies include Great Plains (c.l nubilus), Arctic (c.l arctos), Eastern Timber (c.l lycaon), Mexican (c.l baileyi), and the Northwestern or Mackenzie Valley wolf (c.l occidentalis), which is the largest among all.

Size of the Grey Wolf

The standard mass of a gray wolf is 79-99 pounds with female wolves weighing less than males in most cases. In terms of appearance, gray wolves have thick bushy furs that are mostly grey, however, wolves with white, brown, black, and red furs also exist. Gray wolves have blunt ears and muzzles and they also have wide foreheads and mighty jaws. 

Currently, the existing number of gray wolves in the world is approximately 300,000. They are the most popular and well-known animal as they have been studied and written about in most books than any other animal species. The gray wolf is also able to survive in any environmental conditions as it has good adaptation skills.

Gray wolf packs consist of about five to eleven members; these packs live and hunt together. However, dispersion could be influenced by sexual maturity or little food that cause competition among members or. Wolves are also monogamous as they remain together until one dies.

Conception period normally lasts 62-75 days, and a female gray wolf may reproduce five to six pups; this usually takes place during summer. Interestingly, pups are born blind and deaf and only start to see after nine to twelve days. At birth, pups weigh about 300-500 grams.

Size of the Mackenzie Valley Wolf

This wolf is a sub-species of the gray wolf and the biggest wolf species in the world. It is sometimes known as Alaskan, Canadian, or Northern Timber Wolf; this is because it is widespread across Alaska, Mackenzie River Valley, Canada, and parts of the northwestern United States.

A male average gray wolf weighs about 88 pounds whereas a Mackenzie wolf averagely weighs 175 pounds. The Mackenzie wolf also has thick elongated limbs that it uses for navigating through coarse landscape such as snow areas or the Rocky Mountains.

In a day, a Mackenzie wolf can cover about seventy miles because of its huge chest which holds up large lungs that are effective for respiration in elevated regions. Besides its large chest, which also enhances balance, the wolf has a large neck that supports its big head that it uses during hunting.

Citations

Your MLA Citation

Your APA Citation

Your Chicago Citation

Your Harvard Citation

Remember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.

More in World Facts