1- In order for a new wolf cub to urinate, its mother has to massage its belly with her warm tongue.
2- The Vikings wore wolf skins and drank wolf blood to take on the wolf’s spirit in battle. They also viewed real wolves as battle companions or hrægifr (corpse trolls).
3- The earliest drawings of wolves are in caves in southern Europe and date from 20,000 B.C.
4- Wolves do not make good guard dogs because they are naturally afraid of the unfamiliar and will hide from visitors rather than bark at them.
5- The autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus (SLE), or lupus, literally means wolf redness, because in the eighteenth century, physicians believed the disease was caused by a wolf bite.
6- Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, coyotes, dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.
7- Wolves run on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly and to prevent their paw pads from wearing down.
8- Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. Humans have only about 5 million. Wolves can smell other animals more than one mile (1.6 kilometers) away.
9- Where there are wolves, there are often ravens (sometimes known as “wolf-birds”). Ravens often follow wolves to grab leftovers from the hunt—and to tease the wolves. They play with the wolves by diving at them and then speeding away or pecking their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them.
10- The Cherokee Indians did not hunt wolves because they believed a slain wolves’ brothers would exact revenge. Furthermore, if a weapon were used to kill a wolf, the weapon would not work correctly again.
11- The Japanese word for wolf means “great god.”
12- Under certain conditions, wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles on the open tundra.
13- Wolves were once the most widely distributed land predator the world has ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in the true desert and rainforests.
14- Among true wolves, two species are recognized: Canis lupus (often known simply as “gray wolves”), which includes 38 subspecies, such as the gray, timber, artic, tundra, lobos, and buffalo wolves. The other recognized species is the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are smaller and have longer legs and shorter fur than their relatives. Many scientists debate whether Canis rufus is a separate species.
15- Immense power is concentrated in a wolf’s jaw. It has a crushing pressure of nearly 1,500 pound per square inch (compared with around 750 for a large dog). The jaws themselves are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing, shearing, and crunching bones. Their jaws also open farther than those of a dog.

© R. J.B

16- The North American gray wolf population in 1600 was 2 million. Today the population in North America is approximately 65,000. The world population is approximately 150,000.
17- A hungry wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal, which is akin to a human eating one hundred hamburgers.
18- A wolf pack may contain just two or three animals, or it may be 10 times as large.
19- Though many females in a pack are able to have pups, only a few will actually mate and bear pups. Often, only the alpha female and male will mate, which serves to produce the strongest cubs and helps limit the number of cubs the pack must care for. The other females will help raise and “babysit” the cubs.
20- Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as “psychological castration.” Lower-ranking females are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat.
21- An average size wolf produces roughly 1.2 cubic inches of sperm.
22- Wolves evolved from an ancient animal called Mesocyon, which lived approximately 35 million years ago. It was a small dog-like creature with short legs and a long body. Like the wolf, it may have lived in packs.
23- Currently, there are about 50,000 wolves in Canada; 6,500 in Alaska; and 3,500 in the Lower 48 States. In Europe, Italy has fewer than 300; Spain around 2,000; and Norway and Sweden combined have fewer than 80. There are about 700 wolves in Poland and 70,000 in Russia.
24- Between 1883 and 1918, more than 80,00 wolves were killed in Montana for bounty.
25- Adolph Hitler (whose first name means “lead wolf”) was fascinated by wolves and sometimes used “Herr Wolf” or “Conductor Wolf” as an alias. “Wolf’s Gulch” (Wolfsschlucht), “Wolf’s Lair” (Wolfschanze), and “Werewolf” (Wehrwolf) were Hitler’s code names for various military headquarters.
26- In the 1600s, Ireland was called “Wolf-land” because it had so many wolves. Wolf hunting was a popular sport among the nobility, who used the Irish wolfhound to outrun and kill wolves. The earliest record of an Irish wolfhound dates from Roman times in A.D. 391.
27- Recent scientists suggest that labeling a wolf “alpha” or “omega” is misleading because “alpha” wolves are simply parent wolves. Using “alpha” terminology falsely suggests a rigidly forced permanent social structure.
28- Biologists have found that wolves will respond to humans imitating their howls. The International Wolf Center in Minnesota even sponsors “howl nights” on which people can howl in the wilderness and hope for an answering howl.
29- Wolves have historically been associated with sexual predation. For example, Little Red Riding Hood, who wears a red cape that proclaims her sexual maturity, is seduced off the moral path by a wolf. The sex link endures in common clichés, such as describing a predatory man as “a wolf” or a sexy whistle as a “wolf whistle.”

30- Biologists describe wolf territory as not just spatial, but spatial-temporal, so that each pack moves in and out of each other's turf depending on how recently the “no trespassing” signals were posted.
31- The Greek god Apollo is sometimes called Apollo Lykios, the wolf-Apollo, and was associated with the wind and sun. In Athens, the land surrounding the temple of Apollo became known as the Lyceum, or the “wolf skin.”
32- In 1927, a French policeman was tried for the shooting of a boy he believed was a werewolf. That same year, the last wild wolves in France were killed.
33- When Europeans arrived in North America, wolves became the most widely hunted animal in American history and were nearly extinct by the beginning of the twentieth century. The U.S. Federal government even enacted a wolf eradication program in the Western states in 1915.
34- Dire wolves (canis dirus) were prehistoric wolves that lived in North America about two million years ago. Now extinct, they hunted prey as large as woolly mammoths.
35- A wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40 miles (56 km) per hour when necessary, but only for a minute or two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can travel all day at this speed.
36- The smallest wolves live in the Middle East, where they may weigh only 30 pounds. The largest wolves inhabit Canada, Alaska, and the Soviet Union, where they can reach 175 pounds.
37- Wolves howl to contact separated members of their group, to rally the group before hunting, or to warn rival wolf packs to keep away. Lone wolves will howl to attract mates or just because they are alone. Each wolf howls for only about five seconds, but howls can seem much longer when the entire pack joins in.
38- A light-reflecting layer on a wolf’s eye called the tapetum lucidum (Latin for “bright tapestry”) causes a wolf’s eyes to glow in the dark and may also facilitate night vision. While a wolf’s color perception and visual acuity maybe be inferior to a human’s, a wolf’s eyes are extremely sensitive to movement.
39- A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth. Their eyes turn yellow by the time they are eight months old.

40- In ancient Rome, barren women attended the Roman festival Lupercalia (named for the legendary nursery cave of Romulus and Remus) in the hopes of becoming fertile.
41- According to Pliny the Elder, a first-century Greek scholar, wolf teeth could be rubbed on the gums of infants to ease the pain of teething. He also reported that wolf dung could be used to treat both colic and cataracts.
42- The Aztecs used wolf liver as an ingredient for treating melancholy. They also pricked a patient’s breast with a sharpened wolf bone in an attempt to delay death.
43- During the Middle Ages, Europeans used powdered wolf liver to ease the pain of childbirth and would tie a wolf’sright front paw around a sore throat to reduce the swelling. Dried wolf meat was also eaten as a remedy for sore shins.f
44- The Greeks believed that if someone ate meat from a wolf-killed lamb, he or she ran a high risk of becoming a vampire.
45- During the reign of Edward the Confessor, which began in 1042, a condemned criminal was forced to wear a wolf-head mask and could be executed on a “wolf’s head tree” or the gallows where a wolf might be hanged next to him.
46- Werewolf (wer “man” + wulf “wolf”) trials (which can be distinguished from witchcraft trials) led to hundreds of executions during the 1600s. Men, women, and children—many of whom were physically and mentally handicapped—were put to death.
47- A male and female that mate usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain sophisticated family ties.

48- In approximately the year 800, Charlemagne founded a special wolf-hunting force, the Louveterie, which remained active until 1789. It was reactivated in1814, and the last French wolf was killed in 1927.
49- Britain’s King Edgar imposed an annual tax of 300 wolf skins on Wales. The Welsh wolf population was quickly exterminated.
50- In 1500, the last wolf was killed in England. In 1770, Ireland’s last wolf was killed. In 1772, Denmark’s last wolf was killed.
51- After hearing of “frightening spirits” in the woods with human features that walked on four legs, Reverend Singh in 1920 discovered a den with two cubs and two human girls, one around age 7 or 8, the other around 2. After being brought back to “civilization,” the younger one died within a year. Recently, authors have questioned the validity of this story as modern knowledge has revealed that wolf-like behavior is often seen in autistic or abused children.
52- Sextus Placitus, in his fifth-century B.C. Medicina de quadrupedibus (Medicinals from Animals), claims that sleeping with a wolf’s head under one’s pillow would cure insomnia.
53- In 1934, Germany became the first nation in modern times to place the wolf under protection. Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844-1900) and Oswald Spengler’s (1880-1936) belief that natural predators possessed more vigor and virility than their prey, the protection was probably more for an “iconic” wolf than the actual wolf, particularly since the last wolves in Germany were killed in the middle of the nineteenth century.
54- Unlike other animals, wolves have a variety of distinctive facial expressions they use to communicate and maintain pack unity.
55- Wolf gestation is around 65 days. Wolf pups are born both deaf and blind and weigh only one pound.

56- Between 6,000 and 7,000 wolf skins are still traded across the world each year. The skins are supplied mainly by Russia, Mongolia, and China and are used mainly for coats.
57- In India, simple wolf traps are still used. These traps consist of a simple pit, disguised with branches or leaves. The wolves fall in and people then stone them to death.
58- Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.
59- John Milton’s famous poem “Lycidas” derives its title from the Greek for “wolf cub,” lykideus.
60- In the Harry Potter universe, werewolf Remus Lupin’s name is directly related to the Latin word for wolf (lupus) and suggests an association with one of the founders of Rome, Remus, who was suckled by a wolf. The dual nature of Lupin’s werewolf nature suggests that in the Potter realm, there are two sides to everything.
61- The last wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 13 wolf packs.
62- Wolves can swim distances of up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) aided by small webs between their toes.


a Bailey, Jill. 2005. Animals under Threat: Gray Wolf. Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library.
b Brandenburg, James and Judy Brandenburg. 2008. Face to Face with Wolves. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
c Dutcher, Jim and Jamie Dutcher. 2005. Living with Wolves. Seattle, WA: Braided River.
d Grambo, Rebecca L. 2005. Wolf: Legend, Enemy, Icon. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, Inc.
e Leach, Michael. 2003. Wolf: Habitats, Life Cycles, Food Chains, Threats. New York, NY: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers.
f Ménatory, Anne. 2005. The Art of Being a Wolf. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books.
g Reid, Mary E. 2005. Wolves and Other Wild Dogs. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.

Responses to "Interesting Facts About Wolves"

  1. I really enjoyed reading this & learned so much. As probably others have suggested, a ver 1.1 containing a fix of the typo's, esp #24, considering the insane hunting policy that exploded onto our consciousness. If these maniacs have their way, another slaughter will happen.

    Sadly the hunting in these two states are puny next to the eradication efforts in AK. Since the Sarah Palin website put sniperscope crosshairs on politicians that didn't think as she does, most notably on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), I think they got it wrong. For her & others whose responsibility for this attempted elimination of wolves, WE should release a website with pictures of all politicians & bureaucrats (esp Interior Secretary Salazar...are you listening Sally? Before FB, I've been sending a stream of emails to him regarding his hostility to the wolf's plight & to Obama, who I asked "why don't you get a competent IntSec", especially after the BP fiasco, which happened on Salazar's watch), who are responsible for the slaughter of wolves with some sort of clever & creative graphic that attracts attention & raises the consciousness of people to the plight of the wolf and educate them on what a wonderful & ecologically IMPORTANT animal they are! This reliance on centuries old prejudice to justify these slaughters must be changed. Only by educating people at THEIR level of appreciation can we bring them into the fold. We can't always rely on pointing out others shortsightedness...although I have to admit, it felt good composing & sending my letter to Otter & Schweitzer (esp Otter!). I think he's a lost cause but Schweitzer may be amenable to reform in the future....I kinda regret including him in that letter...he didn't make "assholic" statements like "I'm gonna kill the 1st wolf" like Otter...

  2. Anonymous says:

    lol Schweitzer shot his own wolf in Feb. of this year and i think it was him who told the rest of us to use the SSS method (Shoot, Shovel and Shutup) when killing Montana wolves. He's an avid outdoorsman like the rest of us, I doubt you could change his years of the hunting heritage. He wants to get rid of all the wolves that are devistating the deer and elk populations. Good luck with that though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am saddened by the way the wolves are being hunted, poisoned and misaligned all due to the stupidity of man. starting with Bush and now with Mr Obama (who I can't stand) It is getting harder to live in the country. I will never go to Idaho, Montana, or "Alaska 0r Minnesota because they are wolf haters. I need to start writing letters.!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great information. It's such a shame the way wolves are treated. I hope someday people will reason what great animals they really are.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is completely fabricated and false that wolves are devistating the deer and elk populations. Nature is fine on her own and wolves normally only kill the weak, sick or old. It's man that needs to be curbed and muzzled. Leave the wolves alone. They are not devastating anything.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are my favorite animal of all. I love how they are a pack and how they mate for life. I wish man would just stop killing them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Funny Thing I Live in an area of which wolves do not live and the deer are eating our crops and wrecking our vehicles. My husband has hit 15 deer in 2 yrs. There is a reason we need these misunderstood animals.

  8. Anonymous says:


  9. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to add something to fact 23: As per February 17, 2013, Germany has 19 wolf packs, 2 wolf pairs (is that the right expression?), and 6-7 territorial single wolves. The total number is more than 100.

  10. Anonymous says:

    They are so beautiful <3

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have a 90% wolf
    The enigma of a wolf is not lost on any culture I find
    Always a reaction and never neutral

  12. Anonymous says:

    They are very good at pruning loose branches to make traps, and catching birds.
    They malt much in extreme climates sometimes as much as 4 bucket fulls (yours may differ)
    Can be very picky eaters and often bury it for days until hungry again.
    Not much of a barking dog but sure love to talk in their growly vocal tune.
    And yes they sure do tip them SN

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wolves are my favorite animal.Enjoyed the reading.Thank you so much.

  14. Thank you for sharing this, I learned things, and I thought I had researched it al. I have 3 wolf 'hybirds' (I don't like using the word hybird or crossbreed because of the inigma attatched to them). I got them to promote the breed, and have them, because we are inseperatable. We are their pack and I believe they would die if we were seperated. One ran away when I had to go across country for a funeral. One stands by my side and helps me up when I pass out. How can men be afraid of these beautiful creatures? Respect them yes, definatly. But don't kill them.

  15. Anonymous says:

    my dad always said that man is the true predator...its man who upsets the balance of nature for his own greed....wolves should be respected and loved....they should be left alone....nature will keep herself balanced if man would stay out of her way.

  16. pilvikki says:

    hmm... why are there so many Anonymous here...?

    interesting reading. the only thing i wonder about is the hierarchy of the pack. my latest reading suggests that in a pack, an alpha will always leave a site where a perceived danger is felt as the alpha is paramount for the survival of the pack as its leader and guide.

    there will be one to investigate and the beta will then step in as an enforcer if required. the previously assumed omega, in fact, is the clown/psychology wolf who will sooth ruffled feathers and calm a tense situation.

    the positions are rigid and each wolf has a job to do. that's if we've not been busily killing the pack members. in that case they usually will howl an advertisement for the position.

    marvellous creatures!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I learned alot about wolves thanks for sharing this...:) I love Wolves, the people i use to take care her son had one and Thanksgiving rolled around as I was taking the Turkey out O'tease Grabbed it, Everyone was Laughing we did save it .... just cut off what he had a hold of...

  18. Anonymous says:

    about 6yrs ago i was thrilled to see a red wolf in the state of oklahoma. then 2 yrs later the rangers set out 4 mated pairs around keystone lake ..the red one that i saw was suppose to be extinct

  19. Anonymous says:

    i love wolfs they are may fav and not just cuz my last anme is wolf my name ia blue wolf how cool is that

  20. jolie says:

    ANY wolf is awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!an WHITE WOLF is the awesomeness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Unknown says:

    Fantastic information, thanks for posting and sharing this...

  23. Anonymous says:

    majestic and most beautiful animals>>Their intelligence, perfection and beauty is unique. Humanity is forgetting what all this means and is. Or/ DID humans ever posses it, anywhere near this level.
    Wolves hunt for survival, food, humans hunt for greed and murder!

  24. I am sad about how people are hunting wolves for stupic CRAP LIKE WOOL COATS!!!!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I have a hybrid and I love her more than anything.. so many uneducated and misunderstood people. intelligence level if far greater than most people. of course I treat mine as a pack member not just a dog or pet. as with all animals. raccoon, possum, woodchucks, deer. they are all really great and loving. guess they can sence that. glad I live in the country..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Loved the article. Very informative, I learned things that I didn't know. People should stop destroying the "wild" animals, they are essential to the eco-system. I think the real "wild" animals here are the humans!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Am I wrong in understanding that the government pays farmers for live stock proven to have been destroyed by wolves? If so, the ranchers have very little to lose. In Wisconsin we have a real problem with dear and weakness caused by a lack of predators. Instead they increase the hunting- which, by the way, often kills a number of humans each year! We have proven that we as humans think we know best about just about everything- and we are so often wrong. Killing anything to extinction is very wrong and a danger to our environment. Power to the wolves- we are with you!

  28. Anonymous says:

    You refer to babies several times as cubs- wolf babies are pups

  29. Anonymous says:

    Good foof

  30. Anonymous says:

    RICK ROLL!!!!!

  31. Anonymous says:

    ur all poo heads

  32. Anonymous says:

    Extremely good education. We should get wildlife education throughout the primary and secondary school years.

  33. Unknown says:

    White wolves are my favorite I love wolves I'm such a wolf fan yay!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    pretty good info. and WHITE WOLVES ARE THE BEST!!!!!

  35. I am a retired professor writing a book on management of falls. I plan to briefly include the contribution of Mohawk Indians to the skyscraper industry, and would like to include a picture or two from your collection. Please give me the permission, and also let me know how to acknowledge in the citation. Thank you. -- Prof Krishna,

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