Arctic Wolf Introduction:
The Arctic Wolf, (Canis lupus arctos) also known as the White Wolf or Polar Wolf, is a subspecies of Grey Wolf native to Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Islands, from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island. It is a medium-sized subspecies, distinguished from the northwestern wolf by its smaller size, its whiter coloration, its narrower braincase, and larger carnassials.
Since 1930, there has been a progressive reduction in size in Arctic Wolf skulls, which is likely the result of wolf-dog hybridization. Arctic Wolves are incredibly versatile and adaptive animals, able to withstand year round sub-zero temperatures. Living in the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Wolf spends five out of twelve months in total darkness.
The Arctic Wolf hunts lemmings, assorted rodents, and Arctic Hare but will take larger prey like caribou when available. When the Arctic Wolf wants to hunt musk ox, the pack will gather and work as a team attempt to isolate it from the herd and take it.
An adult musk ox is simply too big for one Arctic Wolf to try and take on alone. Although the Arctic Wolf is generally smaller in size than the Grey Wolf, Arctic Wolves tend to be bulkier than Grey Wolves with the male also growing larger than the female.
Normally, only the alpha male and female breed, but if a pack gets too large it may break up into new smaller packs giving others the opportunity to mate. Due to the Arctic Circle’s uncompromising permafrost soil and the difficulty it poses for digging dens, Arctic Wolves often use rock outcroppings, caves or even shallow depressions as dens instead.
Keywords to learn
Carnassials: Denoting the large upper premolar and lower molar teeth of a carnivore, adapted for shearing flesh.
Iris: A flat, colored, ring-shaped membrane behind the cornea of the eye.
Hey Kids, my name is Alex the Arctic Wolf and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species @ www.kds.nationalgeographic.com
Key Arctic Wolf Data:
Lifespan:7 – 10 years.
Scientific Name:Canus Lupus Arcticus.
Mass:25kg – 40kg. (55lbs – 88lbs)
Length:60cm – 91cm. (24in – 36in)
Region found:Northern Canada and Alaska, parts of Greenland and Iceland and Northern Europe.
Population Status:Least concern.
Current population trend:Stable.
Sexual maturity:2-3 years.
Such beautiful animals, however dangerous to humans in the wild, so it’s important that we protect ourselves from unwanted attacks from these animals. The Arctic Wolf is a hunter and a deadly one, so be vigilant when in the wild.
Now that you know more about the Arctic Wolf by learning the key data above, be sure also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.
Download questions about the Arctic Wolf here: Arctic Wolf (answers are on this page)
Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on the Arctic Wolf. Click on Kidskonnect Worksheets
Arctic Wolf Fun Facts for Kids:
- # 1. Arctic Wolf pups are born in litters of two or three in the months of May and June, meaning that the Arctic Wolf pups are born about a month later than the Grey Wolf pups.
- # 2. Arctic Wolves tend to be white with brown irises, unlike most other subspecies of wolves with yellow to amber eyes. White fur gives them camouflage in a snowy environment, and the darker irises give added protection to the eyes in a high glare environment.
- # 3. Arctic Wolves inhabit some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world where the air temperature rarely rises above -30 degrees C (-22 F) and the ground is permanently frozen. They are one of the few species of mammals who can tolerate these harsh conditions.
- # 4. Some people believe that the Arctic Wolf is a loner by nature but that isn’t true. Those that are seen alone may be away from their pack to search for food. They can also be on their own looking to make their own pack. The size of these groups can be from just a couple of wolves to about twenty. Generally, the size of the pack will depend on how much food happens to be available to them.
- # 5. Due to the isolated areas where the Arctic Wolf lives, they don’t have too many problems with predators. Sometimes the young can be eaten by other animals if they wonder out of the den on their own or they venture too far away from the pack. Occasionally battles with other packs can occur due to problems arising. This often involves a fight for territory, food, or mating rights.
- # 1. Name the two other names used to describe the Arctic Wolf in this article?
- # 2. Which gender of Arctic Wolf is larger?
- # 3. What class does the Arctic Wolf belong to?
- # 4. What is the average litter size of an Arctic Wolf?
- # 5. What is the average temperature of the habitat where the Arctic Wolf lives?