Current Reading Mood: Urban Fantasy
Quote of the day: “I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.
I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first." Cassandra Palmer ― Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wolves, Beautiful aren't they?

I LOVE Wolves. They are beautiful, smart and fierce.
I love how wolves are reflected in books. Werewolves are interesting, territorial and cute. I've been a fan of werewolf novels since years. There are MANY great werewolf series, some of my favorites are: Keri Arthur's, Riley Jenson Series, Woman of the Other World series by Kelly Armstrong, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Lori Handeland's Nightcreature novels, Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn,Tales of an Urban Werewolf series by Karen MacInerney, Nocture Ciry series by Caitlin Kittredge, Dakota Cassity's Accidently werewolf book. I'm currently reading Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I love it!

Some basic wolf facts:
Easier - A wolf is a wild animal that looks like a dog. Wolves are in the same family as pet dogs. Wolves live in remote forests. They hunt in packs and feed on deer, elk, and reindeer.

Harder - A wolf is a carnivorous mammal. When hunting, they often howl as a signal to other wolves in their pack. Females have four to six pups each spring. In many areas, the wolves are nearly gone because they were killed by humans. Wolf recovery programs are reintroducing wolves to remote forests. Many people such as ranchers are unhappy about these wolves. They say that the wolves will kill their cattle and sheep. Others see the reintroduction as important in reestablishing a balance in nature. - from-

Why do wolves howl?

The center of a wolf's universe is its pack, and howling is the glue that keeps the pack together. Some have speculated that howling strengthens the social bonds between packmates; the pack that howls together, stays together. That may be so, but chorus howls can also end with nasty quarrels between packmates. Some members, usually the lowest-ranking, may actually be "punished" for joining in the chorus. Whether howling together actually strengthens social bonds, or just reaffirms them, is unknown.

We do know, however, that howling keeps packmates together, physically. Because wolves range over vast areas to find food, they are often separated from one another. Of all their calls, howling is the only one that works over great distances. Its low pitch and long duration are well suited for transmission in forest and across tundra, and unique features of each individual's howl allow wolves to identify each other. Howling is a long distance contact and reunion call; separate a wolf from its pack, and very soon it will begin howling, and howling, and howling...

Frame grab of sonagram For the following examples of howling, you can "read" the sound spectrograph as you listen to the howls. For each spectrograph, the pitch of the sound is displayed on the vertical axis, so howls low in pitch are nearer the bottom, and howls high in pitch will be found toward the top. Time is represented along the horizontal axis, going from left to right, just as you are now reading this text. A howl that is unmodulated in pitch would appear as a straight line across the screen. Most howls show some degree of modulation, so they look like rolling hills or steep ridges leading to or falling away from plateaus. In addition to its so-called fundamental, or lowest frequency, most howls have harmonics, which appear as higher and higher bands of sound that run parallel to the fundamental on the sonagram.

Wolves are legendary because of their spine-tingling howl, which they use to communicate. A lone wolf howls to attract the attention of his pack, while communal howls may send territorial messages from one pack to another. Some howls are confrontational. Much like barking domestic dogs, wolves may simply begin howling because a nearby wolf has already begun.
Wolves are the largest members of the dog family. Adaptable gray wolves are by far the most common and were once found all over the Northern Hemisphere. But wolves and humans have a long adversarial history. Though they almost never attack humans, wolves are considered one of the animal world's most fearsome natural villains. They do attack domestic animals, and countless wolves have been shot, trapped, and poisoned because of this tendency.
In the lower 48 states, gray wolves were hunted to near extinction, though some populations survived and others have since been reintroduced. Few gray wolves survive in Europe, though many live in Alaska, Canada, and Asia.
Red wolves live in the southeastern United States, where they are endangered. These animals actually became extinct in the wild in 1980. Scientists established a breeding program with a small number of captive red wolves and have reintroduced the animal to North Carolina. Today, perhaps 100 red wolves survive in the wild.
The maned wolf, a distant relative of the more familiar gray and red wolves, lives in South America. Physically, this animal resembles a large, red fox more than its wolf relatives.
Wolves live and hunt in packs of around six to ten animals. They are known to roam large distances, perhaps 12 miles (20 kilometers) in a single day. These social animals cooperate on their preferred prey—large animals such as deer, elk, and moose. When they are successful, wolves do not eat in moderation. A single animal can consume 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of meat at a sitting. Wolves also eat smaller mammals, birds, fish, lizards, snakes, and fruit.
Wolfpacks are established according to a strict hierarchy, with a dominant male at the top and his mate not far behind. Usually this male and female are the only animals of the pack to breed. All of a pack's adults help to care for young pups by bringing them food and watching them while others hunt. -Taken from

Canada supports the second largest gray wolf population in the world, after Russia. Wolf habitat is diverse in this large country where, historically, wolves ranged in most areas. Currently, wolves in Canada occupy approximately 90 percent of their historic range (range lines not depicted). The 10 percentage without wolves is primarily near the southern border, except near Lake Superior where wolves still live. See individual provinces.

I want one.. Okay, I wouldn't take them from their habitat. but it's tempting huh? They are just so beautiful!!!


Bethany C. said...

I love wolves so much, I 'adopted' a few from Defenders of Wildlife. The $ goes to their recovery, and they even send you a little plushie and Certificate of Adoption.

T.V and Book Addict said...

You should watch Despicable Me when it comes out. There's this one teeny tiny scene with a wolf that is gold! You'll enjoy it I'm sure. So cute and funny :)

I NEED to read more wolf books. tsk tsk

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Wolves are fantastic creatures! I totally agree with that statement :)

Rosey said...

Wolves are my favorite animal! My doggy looks like a wolf! (husky/sheperd) :). Great post!

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