SOTW: Grey Wolf

Greetings everybody, 

Conservation status: Least Concern. 

Habitat: Originally, the Grey Wolf was the worlds most widely distributed mammal, living throughout the northern hemisphere. Present distribution is more restricted: wolves occur primary in wilderness and remote areas, especially in Canada, Alaska and northern USA, Europe, and Asia. 

Height: 80-85cm (Average adult at the shoulder)

I have decided to give you crash course on wolf pack order... your welcome. Lets start then...

Alpha pair: 

Write at the top of the pack are the alpha female and male. Both of these individuals make all the decisions for the continued wellbeing of the pack. 
Interestingly, the alpha female even though being smaller and faster than the alpha male rarely partakes in hunting due to the risk of her getting hurt. That doesn't stop her from expressing her alpha status in the situation though as she will govern the operations from the sidelines. She often initiates pre-hunt preparation as well as letting the mid ranking wolves know what species will be hunted depending on the season. 


These guys are the pack enforcers, easily recognisable as they are the biggest and most daring of the entire pack. As the muscle of the pack they rely heavily on their strength acquired through their access to high quality meat to carry out their role of protector and disciplinarian. 
Betas do not just outsize the alphas, they also out howl them to. Betas are capable of howling for about 3-4 times longer than an alpha! The purpose of this is to add elements of strength and continuity to the packs howl. 

Lower ranks: 

Otherwise known as the mid-ranking wolves. Their entire role is to create an illusionary effect of there being more wolves in the pack than there actually are… sneaky. 
They fulfil this role in several ways: 
  1. Each member varies their diet, thereby ensuring that their individual scent markings never stay the same- thus suggesting the illusions of more wolves. 
  2. When the pack initiates a howl they punctuate it with a variety of sounds ranging from yips to whines. Ultimately this makes it harder for neighbouring packs to accurately quantify how many members are present in that pack. 
  3. Lastly, they are naturally cautious to everything new or novel in their home territory. Both the Alphas and Betas rely on this.  

This last group bring the pack to completion.

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The Hunters: 

20-25% smaller than adult males, hunters are often females and as such are much quicker on their feet. Additional speed proves useful when in hot pursuit of prey or cutting of escape routes for a chosen target. 

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The Nannies: 

Considered to be the ‘chosen ones’ these male or female individuals are hand selected by the alpha female herself to care and educate her pups once weaned, in order for her to return to her high rank. 
Pups are taught by the nannies of the pack to lower their heads out of respect to a more dominant member of the pack. They are taught this by nannies snapping the air beside the muzzle forcing them to look down to avoid the bite. 

The Omega wolves: 

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Otherwise known as the’Cinderella wolf’ due to the misconceptions of these individuals being mistreated and of lowest rank. However, this is not correct! They are essential for the continued survival of the pack. 
Omegas are responsible for defusing tensions between pack members. They do this by mastering how to draw attention to themselves by playing games. 
Similar to that of the beta, omegas also add character to the packs howl. The omega is the most tuneful of them all, capable of reaching a combination of high and low notes thereby introducing harmony to the groups howling sessions and calming them down when they are all on the defensive. 

Hope you enjoyed the species of the week post as much as I enjoyed researching for it! 

Until next week, have a lovely weekend
Over and out! 

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