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12 Fun Arctic Wolf Facts For Kids [2022 Updated]

Only the Arctic wolves’ all-white subspecies live in the cold region considered the top of the world. Arctic wolves are quite rare in the wild. This is because they dwell in hazardous environments where people cannot thrive. They reside in an area with snow on the ground all year, and temperatures can drop to minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Wolves are predominantly found in North America, Canada, Greenland, and the central part of Asia.

Fun Arctic Wolf Facts For Kids

Name: Arctic wolves
Scientific name: Canis Lupus Arctos
Subspecies of: Gray wolves
Evolved from: A lineage of other canids
Native: The tundra region and Canada’s Queen Elizabeth Island

Arctic wolves, according to scientists, are thought to have lived alone in harsh environments during the Ice Age. They evolved the adaptations needed to endure the bitter cold of the Arctic at that time. 

12 Fun Facts About the Arctic Wolves

Arctic Wolf is also known as Polar Wolf or White Wolf

The “White Wolf” or “Polar Wolf” are common names for Arctic Wolves. They inhabit the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland. They live in these regions as they’re highly isolated and away from the reach of common people. The Arctic Wolf is not threatened by hunting and habitat destruction in the same way as its southern relatives, where humans have their reach. One more reason these wolves have their habitat in the northern region is their double-layered fur. It is so thick that they cannot survive in the southern areas.

Arctic Wolf Drinking Water

Arctic Wolf’s Scientific name is “Canis Lupus Arctos.”

The gray wolves have the scientific name “Canis Lupus.” The arctic wolves have a scientific name called “Canis Lupus Arctos,” as they live specifically in polar regions. They belong to the Canidae family, and their class is Mammalia. The term Canis in the scientific name of Arctic Wolves means dog while lupus means wolf. Arctos, which gives them their unique identity, refers to a polar or arctic region. The Arctic wolf doesn’t have subspecies, but it is a close relative of the gray wolf.

Arctic Wolves Thrive in the Arctic Tundra Ecosystem.

Arctic Wolf in Arctic Tundra

Tundra winters are protracted, dark, and cold, with typical annual temperatures below 0°C during six to ten months of the year. Permafrost, a layer of permanently frozen earth under the surface caused by the extreme cold, exists there. Arctic wolves have an excellent adaptation to the cold. The polar wolves’ white fur makes it easy for them to disappear into their icy environment. Their tiny, rounded ears, short nose, and thick hair reduce heat loss. Their legs are shorter than those of other subspecies.

Also Read: Arctic Fox Facts

Arctic Wolves Evolved 50 million years ago.

About 50 million years ago, a lineage of other canids was likely to have given rise to the arctic wolf. Arctic wolves, according to scientists, are thought to have lived alone in harsh environments during the Ice Age. They evolved the adaptations needed to endure the bitter cold of the Arctic at this time. Although the wolf’s evolutionary past is unclear, many biologists think it descended from early predators called miacids. About fifty-two million years ago, miacids, which ranged in size from gopher-sized to dog-sized creatures, first appeared in the Lower Tertiary.

Arctic Wolf Fox

The eye color of Arctic Wolves changes as they grow.

After a gestation period of 63 days, the mother wolf gives birth to 2-4 pups. The wolf pups spend two years with their mother. These Arctic Wolves change their fur and eye color as they grow. At birth, wolf pups tend to have darker fur, and their eyes have a blue iris that will change to a yellow-gold or orange color when the pups are between 8 and 16 weeks old. Though highly unusual, an adult wolf can retain its blue-colored irises. 

Fellow Wolves communicate with sound and tail gestures.

Wolves may make four unique vocalizations: barking, whimpering, growling, and howling. Wolves communicate when they howl at night; they are not howling at the moon. Wolves also howl to woo away any other wolf pack coming into their area. Fellow wolves communicate with each other with different tail gestures also. Their communication patterns can vary from pack to pack. 

Group of Wolves

Also Read: Fennec Fox Facts

Arctic Wolves love eating Caribou & Musk-oxen.

Arctic wolves eat ungulates like moose, caribou, and musk oxen for food like other wolves. They do pursue smaller prey like lemmings, arctic hares, and snow owls. Wolves prefer larger prey because they supply more food, reducing the need for many kills. Although they have a variety of prey to choose from, caribou and musk oxen are considered to be their top choices for food hunting. These creatures are essential to the diet of Arctic wolves. They often have to go kilometers in quest of food.  

Arctic Wolves can travel 30 miles in search of food.

Territories vary in size according to the amount of available prey and the seasonal movement of prey. Packs, which guard against other wolves, a traditional region are used packs. Wolves make good hunters because they can cover a lot of ground, searching for weak prey. If they can’t locate food nearby, wolves may travel up to 30 kilometers in a day. They must go great distances in quest of food since they have no other choice if they want to survive.

Their bite force can reach up to 600 pounds.

Unless they feel threatened, Arctic wolves do not pose a threat to humans. When other wolves or humans intrude on their area, these wolves mark their territory and may turn hostile. A wolf uses its large teeth and strong jaws to break the bones of its prey. A wolf’s bite may exert 1,500 pounds per square inch of pressure. Because of the strength of a wolf’s teeth, a moose femur may be fractured in six to eight bites.

Arctic Wolf with their pup

Arctic Wolves have comparatively smaller ears and noses.

Arctic wolves are smaller than gray wolves, and to keep their bodies warm, they also have smaller ears and shorter muzzles. They can endure cold climates with daily lows of minus 30 degrees Celsius. They have adaptations for warmth and protection from the bitter cold, including different layers of fur, snouts, shorter legs, and smaller ears. They dwell in climates where smaller ears and muzzles will assist them in insulating their bodies from the cold, which is the primary reason they have smaller ears and noses.

Also Read: Polar Bear Facts

Arctic Wolves can consume 20 pounds of meat in a meal.

They can consume as much as possible when available since they never know when they will have another opportunity to eat. They endure prolonged periods of darkness and bitter cold periods since they reside in the Arctic Circle. They may maintain their energy levels for longer by eating a lot of food at once. They can go days without eating when given enormous meals weighing 15 to 20 pounds. As a result, they may consume up to 20 pounds of meat at once. 

On average, Arctic wolves live for 7 to 10 years.

Arctic wolves have a combined lifetime of roughly seven years in the wild and 20 years in captivity. Wolves frequently walk for eight hours daily, at an average speed of five miles per hour. They may walk 4,000 kilometers yearly and typically cover thirty miles a day. Wolves that live in packs move about to hunt for food and protect their territories. This is how their entire lives are. They begin participating in pack activities at six weeks; by eight months, they are fully fledged adults. Adult puppies can spend years with the same pack. 

Young Arctic Wolf

Conclusion

Since Arctic wolves rarely interact with humans on the tundra, they are not in danger of being hunted or persecuted. Their biggest threat, though, is climate change. Arctic hares and muskox have seen a fall in population due to the dramatic weather fluctuations in recent years that have made it difficult for them to locate food. As a result, the Arctic wolf’s main food source has been disrupted. You may have learned quite a bit about arctic wolves and their way of life from the above information.

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