In reaction to this ask: I think anon was talking about this documentary: “Fauna Iberica”. I remembered I saw it somewhere. Luckily I knew this spanish docu.

I took screens with this wolf from the docu, maybe not the best quality, but it’s kinda visible that the wolf has different eyes indeed. I don’t know Spanish, but it seems the wolves in this series are pure blood. It’s interesting. Seems like wolves, while it’s not normal, may have different eyes. 

Holy sh*t, this is one of the most beautiful wolves I have ever seen! Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) are one of my favourite wolf subspecies, and these eyes are just mesmerizing! I know what documentary is next on my “to watch”-list, lol

Both the brown and the pale green are normal eye colours for Iberian wolves (having two green eyes or two brown eyes, that is). Heterochromia (different coloured eyes) is a genetic defect that can appear in wolf breeds as well, though like I said I’ve never seen a wolf with two different coloured eyes, so thank you so much for showing me this!

Wolves vulnerable to contagious yawning

New research shows that when one wolf yawns, a packmate often does too.

Watching a pack of wolves at the Tama Zoological Park outside Tokyo last year, Japanese researchers found that the sight of a wolf yawning often triggered yawning in other wolves. And the more time the wolves spent together, the more likely it was to happen.

This is the first time this phenomenon has been observed in wolves, the researchers say.

For centuries, scientists have been puzzling over why we yawn. We tend to yawn more when we’re tired than when we’re not, but people and animals yawn at plenty of other times too. (How many of you have yawned so far just reading this article?) Some studies have found that yawning cools the brain, since the intake of outside air lowers internal temperature. Others say that yawning helps keeping us alert, which may explain why some people yawn right before doing something stressful, like jumping out of a plane.

Still, these theories don’t totally explain one of the more fascinating aspects of yawning: When we see someone else yawn, our chances of yawning go way up. University of Tokyo biologist Teresa Romero says that the leading hypothesis among scientists is that this contagious yawning is related to empathy—meaning an empathetic person or animal will feel tired when he or she observes another individual looking tired. (See “‘Contagious’ Yawning Occurs More Among Loved Ones.”)

Until now, contagious yawning was thought to be something only humans and other primates like chimpanzees do. Scientists who had looked for evidence of yawn contagion among domestic dogs had gotten mixed results—some studies seemed to show that one dog yawning triggered another dog to yawn, whereas other studies didn’t find any association.

Romero was especially interested in how dogs and wolves thought differently, so she figured that investigating contagious yawning among wolves might help provide a better understanding of the two species’ differences.

Romero wanted the latest study to be in as realistic a setting as possible, so she and her colleagues spent 524 hours over five months observing a pack of 12 wolves at the Tama Zoological Park, which is known for its naturalistic enclosures. They noted every time a wolf yawned spontaneously, then recorded the responses of any wolves nearby that had seen the yawn. The researchers also measured how frequently the wolves yawned without seeing their packmates also doing so.

The researchers found that the wolves were significantly more likely to yawn after seeing another wolf do so than at other times. In 50 percent of their observations, a wolf yawned after seeing another do so; wolves yawned only 12 percent of the time when they didn’t see another wolf do so.

Yawns were also more likely to be contagious among wolves with close social bonds, the researchers report Wednesday in PLOS ONE.

Canine behavior expert Monique Udell of Oregon State University in Corvallis, who was not involved with the study, says some “previous studies concluded that contagious yawning was unique to dogs due to their domestication. This new study shows that might not be the case.”


(Source: wolveswolves)

methfoxes asked:
Obviously you should avoid wolf encounters. I live in Alaska and you can go up to anyone and say "hey what about wolves". I always get different answers (one girl said run. She was joking but really, no) so I've decided to go to the expert. What do you do in case of an encounter with a single wolf and also a pair/pack of wolves? I know wolf encounters are rare in northern parts of Alaska (anchorage and northern cities) just because of the sheer size of the land but anything can happen yo

The reason why encounters with wild wolves are rare, is because wolves are extremely shy animals. Over time, wolves learned to see us as dangerous, and will avoid us at all costs. If you spot a wolf in the wild, it is most likely not aware of your presence. Most of the time they are aware of our presence first, instead of the other way around.

Thisis unlikely, but íf you would encounter a wolf in the wild that is acting agressive towards you and is not scared of encountering you, the following is best to do: don’t run or turn your back on them. Instead, stand your ground, make yourself as big and tall as possible and make as much noise as you can - scream, turn up loud music on your phone, anything. Throw stuff at them if possible. If they don’t go away, back away slowly. This goes for encountering a pack of wolves as well. If they attack and you can, climb into a tree. Otherwise curl up on the ground and cover your face and neck.

Again, the above is in the extreme and unlikely situation of wild wolves being agressive and unafraid towards humans. In most wolf encounter cases, the wolf will flee once it becomes aware of you, or will curiously observe you from a safe distance for a while, to then most likely loose interest and proceed whatever it was doing.

In case you’re in an enclosure: stand with your back to the fence, and move to the exit while keeping your back to the fence. Make sure you don’t trip.

When a human enters a place where wild wolves live who have not yet experienced encounters with humans, there is a change they will come and check you out when they have the feeling you are not a threat. In this case I mean really coming up close to sniff you and really check you out. If this ever happens to you (although this is a véry unlikely thing because as stated above, most wolves ‘know’ of humans and learned to avoid them and see them as dangerous), best thing to do is stay low to the ground and don’t make any eye contact. This makes it sound like they are very aggressive animals, but this is just purely to make sure to act in the most save way - better safe than sorry. Once they’ve discovered you are not a threat, they will most likely loose interest in you, leave you alone and no longer bother about you.

Wolves cooperate but dogs submit, study suggests

19 August 2014

For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones. The dogs, in contrast, formed strict, linear dominance hierarchies that demand obedience from subordinates, Range explained last week at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. As wolves became dogs, she thinks, they were bred for the ability to follow orders and to be dependent on human masters.

Range and Virányi developed their new portrayal of dogs and wolves by giving a series of tests to socialized packs of mixed-breed dogs and wolves, four packs of each species, containing anywhere from two to six animals each. The scientists raised all the animals from about 10 days old at the Wolf Science Center in Game Park Ernstbrunn, Austria, living with them 24 hours a day until they were introduced to pack life, so that they were accustomed to humans.

Range and her colleagues tested the dogs’ and wolves’ tolerance for their fellow pack members with a mealtime challenge. The researchers paired a high-ranking dog with a low-ranking pack buddy and set out a bowl of food, then gave the same challenge to a pair of wolves. In every matchup, “the higher ranking dog monopolized the food,” Range told the meeting. “But in the wolf tests, both high- and low-ranking animals had access” and were able to chow down at the same time. At times, the more dominant wolves were “mildly aggressive toward their subordinates, but a lower ranking dog won’t even try” when paired with a top dog, Range said. “They don’t dare to challenge.”

Wolves also beat the hounds on tests that assessed whether the canids were able to follow the gaze of their fellows to find food. “They are very cooperative with each other, and when they have a disagreement or must make a group decision, they have a lot of communication or ‘talk’ first,” Range said.  The same was not true for the center’s dog packs; for even the smallest transgression, a higher ranked dog “may react aggressively” toward one that is subordinate.

Range and Virányi suspect that the relationship between dogs and humans is hierarchical, with humans as top dogs, rather than cooperative, as in wolf packs. The notion of “dog-human cooperation” needs to be reconsidered, Range said, as well as “the hypotheses that domestication enhanced dogs’ cooperative abilities.” Instead, our ancestors bred dogs for obedience and dependency. “It’s not about having a common goal,” Range said. “It’s about being with us, but without conflict. We tell them something, and they obey.”

“It’s wonderful work,” says James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s not what the dog training community wants to hear; you can’t say the word ‘dominance’ around them. Does dominance exist as a phenomenon in dogs? The answer is clearly ‘yes,’ ” Serpell says, although he notes that there are breed differences. Other researchers, for example, have shown that when in packs, poodles and Labrador retrievers are more aggressive than are malamutes and German shepherds.     

Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, says her own study of dog and wolf behavior, also presented at the meeting, supports Range’s contention that dogs are waiting for orders. To find out if dogs are “independent problem solvers,” she presented 20 adult dogs (10 pets and 10 from shelters) with sealed containers of summer sausage. Each animal was allotted 2 minutes to open it. Ten captive wolves were given the same test. Not one of the adult dogs succeeded; most did not even try. Meanwhile, eight of the 10 wolves opened the container in less than 2 minutes. So did dog puppies, indicating that dogs are no less capable of the task than wolves, but “as the dog grows and becomes more dependent on its human owner that [independent] behavior is inhibited,” Udell said.

Underscoring the point, she found that adult pooches could open the container after all—when their human owner told them to do so. Because dogs “suppress their independence, it’s difficult to know what their normal problem-solving abilities are,” she told the meeting.

It may be that we have to give Fido a command to find out.


Anonymous asked:
I was wondering if wolves in Wolf Parks get real cakes or special meat cakes, you know, if they're celebrating something, there are videos and photos of caretakers giving wolves pieces of cake. Is it real cake with cream and such?

The cakes and pies they give to the wolves look like “human” cakes, but consist out of eatable stuff that’s okay for wolves. Usually just meat or egg cakes, but sometimes something fancier like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, or pumpkins stuffed with piggy ears, or peanut butter fruit icecream… basically treats made of anything edible for wolves!





Anonymous asked:
Do you know if the foods that are poisonous to dogs (like chocolate, garlic, grapes) are also poisonous to wolves?

Wolves have a wider, more varied diet than dogs, and can digest more kinds of foods. Grapes for example are a normal part of a wild wolf’s diet (though if wolves have the change between fruit and meat, they will choose meat).

Garlic isn’t per definition poisonous for dogs - for example garlic is sometimes used against fleas, and only a big amount is harmful. I assume it neither is for wolves (I don’t have a legit source for this).

But like dogs, wolves lack the metabolizing enzymes that break down the theobromine and caffeine in chocolate, so that is poisonous for wolves as well.

Anonymous asked:
I am pro-wolf, but I also think that wolf populations need control. I think it's good, from time to time, and to some extent, under strict rules of course, to hunt wolves. Hunting should entirely exclude endangered subspecies of wolf, and exclude regions in which wolves are still in small populations. Hunting is good for wolves (don't get me wrong here), because wolf population can't be too high either, bc it causes conflicts & more hatred for wolves. I guess I will be hated now. Go on. Hate.

Why do you assume I will hate you for this?! Even if I did not agree with you, you must know that I am not the kind of person to hate or disrespect someone for their valid opinions.

As a matter of fact, I, along with most wolf biologists, agree with you on this issue – regulated controlling wolf numbers is sometimes needed. It is one of the most beneficial ways to help keep their own population, other populations, and the environment they live in safe and healthy, and is beneficial to the conservation of wolves as a whole. Here’s a link to a post made by one of my favourite bloggers who knows what they’re talking about regarding things like this with valid and proper scientific sources.

Proper sources on this subject:

(Typing this, I understand there are most likely people out there to who this is new, shocking, and possibly enraging information. A few years back, before I started studying wolves and biology, I felt the exact same way. Just like I do now, I loved wolves and wanted to protect them at all costs. I was convinced hunting them could in no way be beneficial for this species that is already often so endangered. When I started to seriously educate myself on wolves and this particular subject, surprisingly I found the opposite to be true. I want to ask you to be respectful for people’s opinions on this subject, but more importantly I want to ask you to go and read on why population control is sometimes needed for the sake of the survival of our beloved wolf. The sources listed above are easy accessible, no matter your level of knowledge on the subject.)

Anonymous asked:
I watched this documentary "Rise of the black wolf" and I have a few questions. There was a lone female with two grown pups, and when a stranger male wolf came, they became mates with the female and he "adopted" her already grown pups. He hunted for family and later he was hunting with female's sons as they were his own. My question is: does it happen in the wild? Male wolf adopting pups of a female or teaching them how to hunt, or was it only in the film and is not real? Thanks!

Yes, it does happen! When one of the parents die, usually another member of the pack replaces the deceased parent’s leading role. Often the replacing wolf is the same sex as the wolf that died, and will become the new mate of the remaining parent. If there aren’t any other adult pack members that can replace the role of the deceased parent, it often happens that the remaining parent looks for or accepts a new mate that isn’t from their pack – like in the documentary “Rise of black wolf”.

All wolves love cubs and are programmed to protect and nurture them. This can extend to pups that are not related to themselves, especially if the adopting wolf has pups of its own already. 

Also, there’s been studies done in which they followed wolf packs from who one of the breeding pair died. In those cases odd composed packs formed (for example two male wolves who were brothers and a new, unrelated female wolf who joined and paired with one of the brothers), but they all had in common a structure of a leading breeding pair. This studies concluded that apparently, wolves instinctively always seek for this structure in whatever unnatural group they end up or formed. 

(You can watch the documentary “Rise of black wolf” for free online here)

Anonymous asked:
Can you tell me more about wolves mating for life? Because monogamy in case of wolves is not that much obvious. They mate, for example, with one partner for a few years, and then with another for several years. Is there any scientific evidence of wolves mating with one partner for the lifetime?

(Assuming you’re the same anon from previous message)

A pack is essentially a family group, comprising an adult pair which typically mate for life, and their offspring of one or more years. (Mech, 1970), (Nowak, R. “Walker’s Carnivores of the World, 2005) A few exceptions have been revealed by both field and genetic study. (Lehman et al., 1992), (Mech and Nelson, 1990)

Most packs are low-density population packs. In low-density populations, wolves are typically monogamous, although of course there are exceptions (Mech, D., Boitani, L., “Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation”, 2003, p.38), (D. Smith et al. 1997) Monogamous relationships are common in nuclear families as long as (1) offspring are not reproductively mature, (2) the breeders are more attracted to each other than to their offspring, and (3) courtship between sibs is interrupted. (Mech, D., Boitani, L., “Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation”, 2003, p.58)

Of course it’s important to remember that wolves their average lifespan in the wild is about 8 years on average, while in captivity they easily live up to 14. So the reason why wolves change partners after a few years like you stated, is mostly because their current partner perished, not because wolves are polygamous.

So yeah,


^you                          ^me

Great plains wolf (Canis lupus nubilus)

Also known as the buffalo wolfdusky wolf or loafer. Once roamed from the west of the United States to the south of Canada, but since 1930 the Great plains wolf is almost extinct. In 2004, only about 3700 of them were left in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.


(Source: wolveswolves)

fox-cache asked:
I hate to add to your already massive inbox, but I was wondering if the black and grey colouration only occurs in old wolves, or if it can happen with younger wolves? Thank you! :)

(I’m assuming you mean the combination of black and gray in a single wolf’s fur - correct me if I’m wrong)

It’s typical for an older, black coated wolf to gain gray “highlights” as a result of age, but this can appear in a wolf’s fur no matter the age.

Here are some real gorgeous black-and-gray fur colours ranging from predominantly black to predominantly gray









Anonymous asked:
Hi there! Just a quick question - I was wondering what blood types wolves have. I couldn't really find it on the internet, though I did find the blood types wolves have. Do they share the same blood types? If not, do you perhaps have a source about blood types of wolves? I hope it's not much of a bother. Thank you! ^-^

I never learned anything about this, so I did some quick research but could only find something for canines in general.

Canine blood types are denoted by “DEA,” (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen). They are broken down into eight categories:
DEA 1.1
DEA 1.2

This article may be of interest to you. Good luck!

Anonymous asked:
Okay I've got another perhaps strange question (like the blood type one): do wolves have a preference for using a certain side, like left or right, like humans do? Say, open door first a preferred paw or whatever?

Yes! Like most animals, each individual wolf has a preference in handedness.

run-margie-run asked:
How do you explain Lukas's eye color? (One of the past wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center) They almost look ice blue

 Though mature wolves do not retain blue as an eye color, gray or green eyes can sometimes appear blue from certain angles or in certain lights or surroundings. Lukas’s eyes were an extremely light gray, which causes them to be reflective of his environment. Here’s a picture of Lukas:


This is another case of a wolf called Ruedi at Wolf Park, who is also famous for his appearing blue eyes.

Why is Canada’s wolf population splitting in two?

Chester Starr of the Heiltsuk First Nation knows that the wolves of British Columbia come in two varieties: timber wolves on the mainland and coastal wolves on the islands. Genetic research has finally confirmed what Starr’s tribe has always known.

It was Starr’s “traditional ecological knowledge" that initially inspired Polish Academy of Sciences researcher Astrid V. Stronen and University of Calgary scientist Erin Navid to take a closer look at British Columbia’s wolves. They wanted to see whether the Heiltsuk Nation’s folk knowledge was reflected in the wolves’ genes.

The puzzling thing is that wolves are capable of moving over vast geographical distances. They can easily travel more than 70 kilometers per day without even breaking a sweat. They can cross valleys and mountains, and can swim across rivers and even small channels of sea. Yet Stronen, Navid, and colleagues found stark genetic distinctions among wolf groups in an area just 2000 square kilometers.

Why are there such clear genetic groupings among wolf groups who ought to be able to intermix?

According to the researchers, it’s all about what they eat. Despite the tiny distances between the mainland and the islands – sometimes less than 1500 meters of water – there are tremendous ecological distinctions. The mainland is rugged and is home to tons of wildlife, while the islands are less mountainous and host fewer species. On the mainland, grizzly bears compete with wolves, but on islands, wolves are the top dogs. On the mainland, wolves can feast on moose and mountain goats. On the islands, wolves rely on marine resources, like fish, for 85% of their diets.

espite their ability to travel great distances, some animals’ behavior becomes so specialized, thanks to the environment into which they were born, that they wind up sticking close to home.

Why Is Canada's Wolf Population Splitting Into Two Groups?

It’s an important reminder that nature and nurture, genetics and environment, are more tightly linked than it might seem at first. Chimpanzees and bonobos only diverged some three million years ago (our species last shared an ancestor with them around six million years ago), but today couldn’t be more different. As with the wolves of British Columbia, researchers think that the remarkable differences in chimpanzee and bonobo culture originate, at least in part, in their diets. Chimpanzees evolved in forests with fewer dietary resources than bonobos did. Fruits are a bit harder to come by for chimps, which may explain why they evolved to be more competitive. Bonobos, on the other hand, evolved in a land of plenty. The reduced competition over food may have led the so-called “hippie ape” towards greater tolerance and cooperation. Even small differences in diet and in foraging and hunting styles can have massive implications for the evolution of a group of animals.

The distinction between coastal and mainland wolves, in some ways, mirrors the distinction between polar and grizzly bears. It is thought that the two bear species diverged because polar bears evolved in regions where they relied on the sea to provide their food, while grizzly bears remained skilled at hunting on dry land. Like polar bears, those wolves who found their way to the islands have simply become skilled at fishing, causing them to remain in marine landscapes. Will the wolves of British Columbia follow in the footsteps of the bears, splitting into two different species? Only time will tell.

It doesn’t matter if an animal is physically capable of dispersing over large distances. Instead, what matters is whether they can thrive in environments distinct from the ones in which they learned to survive. Even one neighborhood over, a wolf that was a master fisherman might starve if faced with the task of taking down a massive moose.


Read the whole open-access paper at BMC Ecology

(Source: wolveswolves)