The arctic wolf [canis lupus arctos] also known as the white wolf or polar wolf , is a subspecies of grey wolf native to the high arctic tundra of canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands, from Melville Islands to Ellesmere Island. Unlike some populations that move between tundra and forest regions, Arctic wolf spend more their entire lives north of the northern tree line. It’s a medium size subspecies distinguished from the northwestern wolf by its smaller size, its whiter colouration, its narrow braincase and larger carnassials. 24 Fascinating Facts about Arctic Wolf are
1. Scientific Classification: Arctic Wolf belong to genus Canis in the family Canidae, with species C.lupus and subspecies C.l. arctos.
2. Geographic Distribution: Arctic Wolves inhabit the Arctic Regions of North America and Greenland.Their distribution to south is limited to the northern fringes of the middle arctic tundra on the southern half of prince of wales and Somerset Islands.
3. Habitat and Adaptations: Arctic Wolves are well adapted to icy conditions. White fur allows them to blend into snowy surroundings.
4. Coloration: Born brown or black, arctic wolves turn white by the end of their first year, with only a small patch of dark hair persisting above the base of their tail for the next few years.
5. Life Span: The average lifespan of male and female Arctic Wolves is about 7 years in the wild and 20 years captivity.
6. Ecological niche: They are carnivorous hunters and help to control the population of other animals in the region like the musk ox, caribou and arctic hares.
7. Population Number: According to the cool Antarctica resources the total population size of the Arctic Wolf is around 200,000 individuals.
8. Population Threats: Unlike other wolf species, Arctic Wolf hardly ever comes into contact with people and is not under threat by persecution or hunting.
9. When arctic wolves hunt as a pack, one adult member will always remain behind as a puppy sitter.
10. Arctic wolves travel much further than wolves of the forest when looking for food, and they sometimes do not eat for several days.
11. The Arctic wolf can cope up with sub zero temperatures as well as 5 months of total darkness each year.
12. During the winter, these wolves grow a second layer of fur to protect themselves against the cold.
13. Like many other animals, such as domestic dogs, Arctic wolves have a mechanism that maintains their paws at a temperature lower than the body core.
14. All wolf pups are born with blue eyes, these later changing to a brown or golden colour.
15. Arctic wolves are monogamous, within the pack, only the alpha male and beta female are allowed to mate.
16. Diet and feeding: A wide variety of food resources, the majority is of large herbivores such as moose, caribou, deer, elk etc.
17. Thick camouflaged seasonal fur: (Anatomical) – The coat of the arctic wolf is always thick and highly insulating.
18. Fur on paws: To insulate them from snow and ice and also provide for a better grip on slippery surfaces.
19. Thick layer of body fat: for insulation and food storage to help survive the winter when food supply may be intermittent.
20. Countercurrent heat exchanger in the paws: (anatomical/ physiological) along with many other animals including domestic dogs, there is a mechanism in the paws of arctic wolves that keeps them at a lower temperature than the body core.
21. Average weight and length: 32 to 70 kg (70- 155 lbs) and 100 to 180 cm long (3.2 to 5.9 feet).
22. Conversation status: They are least concerned in talking and contacting with anybody.
23. Arctic wolves communicates with the help of various voicing sounds, and the position of their tail.
24. Unlike other species of wolf, the arctic wolf rarely comes into contact with humans and is not threatened by hunting or persecution.