Wolves are commonly known as ferocious and intolerant loners, but think again: they are so much more than this scary reputation!
Wolves are a part of the group called canidae, which is the scientific name for the dog family. The canidae family contains other species such as foxes, coyotes, dingoes, jackals, and African and Asian wild dogs. There are over 44 subspecies of wolves, but 13 of them are believed to be extinct.
Wolves live in various places. They mainly live in the northern hemisphere among forests, mountains, grasslands, and sometimes even deserts. Different breeds of wolves live in different environments.
Wolves come in all shapes, sizes, and color, but they all have characteristics that are important for their survival. For example, wolves have a snout or nose that is 15 times larger than a human's nose is. This helps them smell 100 times better than humans do. Wolves have massive jaws that have twice the force of the jaws of a full grown male German Shepard. These features help them to find food and protect themselves from predators.
Although wolves' senses are great, they need other wolves to survive in the wild. Wolves live in groups and take care of each other. In fact, they survive longer and are more powerful because of this. Wolves also hunt together. They can get more meals from a larger animal than from a small animal, but taking down larger animals like moose or deer requires teamwork. Some wolves are more dominant than others.
Even though wolves are feared and often considered vicious predators, they are actually resourceful and social creatures who sometimes must use self-defense to survive. It would be a great loss to our ecosystem if more sub-species of wolf went extinct.
The King Fisher Childrens Encyclopedia; The Encyclopedia of Animals