The wolves will..."travel together ten or twenty miles a day, through the country where they live, eating and sleeping, birthing, playing with sticks, chasing ravens, growing old, barking at bears, scent marking trails, killing moose and staring at the way water in a creek breaks around their legs and flows on"
Barry Lopez, Of Wolves and Men
CRY OF THE WILD : MASON :
I create this page for our friends who do not speak french. Most of the informations are some that I collect from other site. (You will find the link all time .. Hope not to forget to much !)
The idea it's to give information about wolves of course but also to be present today with our common fight against wolves killing everywhere and so, wolves lovers help each other !
So you'll find at the top of the page, each time the last informations about wolves for today.
Hope you'll enjoy it !
This blog is dedicated to the memory of Wolf 253, the beloved Yellowstone Druid wolf named Limpy, who was shot and killed in March 08, on the very day ESA protections were lifted for the gray wolf, by the then Bush Adminitration.
Few animals evoke the wild like wolves. Majestic, rangy and highly social, wolves also play a crucial role in driving evolution and calibrating nature’s complex set of relationships.
Once — before bounties, a federal extermination program and expansive human settlement — wolves freely roamed most of the United States. Scientists estimate there were once some 2 million wolves in North America.
By the 1960s, when wolves were finally protected under a precursor to the Endangered Species Act, they had been exterminated from all of the conterminous United States except tiny portions of Minnesota and Michigan — victims of an unwillingness, primarily on the part of the livestock industry, to coexist with a predator so wild and complex and uncontrolled.
Protection under the Endangered Species Act has aided wolves tremendously. In the Great Lakes, wolves have grown in numbers in Minnesota and expanded their range to Wisconsin and Michigan. In the northern Rocky Mountains, a combination of natural migration from Canada and reintroduction has created a robust population of wolves in Idaho, Montana and a portion of Wyoming that’s beginning to spread to Washington, Oregon and other states. In the Southwest, just seven surviving Mexican gray wolves were saved and bred in captivity; some of their progeny were reintroduced and are struggling to survive against lethal livestock industry opposition and government mismanagement.
Although there have been substantial gains, the job of wolf recovery is far from over. A mere 5,000 to 6,000 wolves occupy only about 5 percent of the animals’ historic range. Establishing wolf populations throughout much of the country — and corridors for individuals to travel back and forth — will not only increase wolf numbers but will also allow for necessary genetic exchange.
But the federal government has never applied a much-needed national perspective on wolf restoration. Instead, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relies on outdated, decades-old recovery plans that view restoration as a piecemeal project — aiding a few wolf populations here and there — and underestimate how many wolves are needed for true recovery. (The plan for northern Rockies wolves, for example, calls for a population of just 30 breeding pairs spread between three populations.) Far from encouraging recovery across the gray wolf’s former range, the federal government has been trying to lift protections for wolf populations that aren’t yet at a level ensuring their long-term survival, and Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are all pursuing permission to dramatically slash their wolf populations to seriously unhealthy levels.
That’s why, in 2010, the Center filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a national recovery plan for wolves. The plan would provide a much-needed roadmap for establishing wolf populations in suitable habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, California, the Great Basin, the Great Plains and New England.
We’ve learned much more about wolves’ behavior, ecology and needs since the original wolf recovery plans were written. We know, for example, that returning wolves to ecosystems sets off a chain of events that benefits many species, including songbirds and beavers that gain from a return of streamside vegetation — which thrives in the absence of browsing elk that must move more often to avoid wolves — and pronghorn and foxes that are aided by wolves’ control of coyote populations.
Our petition should spark a new national conversation about finishing the job of wolf restoration in a way that identifies suitable habitat, considers connectivity between populations, and gives this vital animal a chance to survive and thrive.
She was found at the edge of an alpine meadow, dead in the silent snow of winter. Frozen and lifeless, her virility lives on only in the three members of her pack that escaped the massacre.
The Basin Butte Pack was together in an open field when the first shots were fired from the airplane. The two pups were killed first as the rest of the pack fled for the shelter of the forest. The alpha female had already been hit by the wide spray of buckshot and badly injured. Pursued by the helicopter, she ran to save her life, traveling through thick timber for two miles, leaving a trail of her blood in the snow, followed by the sharpshooter, betrayed by her radio collar. She did not stand a chance. ....
* Wolf Crisis Averted Yesterday But Battle In Senate Still Looms !
* Howling For Justice : Unfortunately we just delayed the vote for two weeks. HR1 still contains the wolf delisting language so our celebration was short lived. Sigh
BREAKING NEWS : Wolf Crisis Averted ! 1713 Defeated!
« Howling For Justice - howlingforjustice.wordpress.com
Great news for wolves ! The bad section of the House budget bill, 1713, has been defeated ! The House has already passed a new Continuing Resolution, minus the Simpson language and bad budget cuts, which has a good chance of passing the Senate…
... Not so fast, says a pair of ecologists from Montana State University. Scott Creel and Jay Rotella recently published a paper in the online journal PLoS-ONE that says hunting and other lethal-control methods, such as shooting wolves that attack cattle, have an “additive effect” on some wolf populations, magnifying the mortality rate beyond the actual number of wolves killed by humans. This could be because wolf packs often disband after the loss of breeding or dominant animals, leaving the others more vulnerable, Creel suggests.
“We’ve never seen this level of hunting on a smaller population of wolves,” says Sylvia Fallon, a senior scientist with NRDC. “There are dynamics at play in smaller populations that we don’t fully understand yet, like how it affects their social networks.”...
µ Delene Beeland : is a freelance science writer in North Carolina. She contributes weekly to the Charlotte Observer's Sci-Tech section and is working on her first book, The Secret World of Red Wolves, due out in 2012. She blogs about ecology and conservation at Wild Muse.
... The reason Peay gave for this startling proposal is essentially that hunters have a proprietary right to wildlife. They can shoot trophy elk for wall decorations because they buy licenses and pay excise taxes on hunting equipment, but it is unacceptable for wolves to eat elk to survive.
Wolves do eat elk and deer, a...nd occasionally cows and sheep. But surely this cannot be a good reason to discriminate against this one species, excluding it from federal protection at the behest of special interests and in total disregard of science...
* Federal Government Formally Re-lists Gray Wolf As Endangered
Doug Nadvornick (2010-10-27)
A gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center
SEATTLE, WA (N3)
- The federal government formally put the gray wolf back on the Endangered Species List Tuesday. It's the latest milestone in a long legal battle. KPLU's Doug Nadvornick reports.
In August, a federal judge in Montana ordered the wolf back into federal protection after only 16 months off the endangered list. Judge Donald Molloy ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service couldn't continue to protect wolves in Wyoming, while at the same time allowing them to be hunted in Montana and Idaho.
Now the agency has published the re-listing in the Federal Register, making Molloy's ruling the law.
Wolves are now fully protected in Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming and Utah.
Idaho Governor Butch Otter recently handed wolf management duties in his state back to the federal government. He says as long as the government insists on protecting a species that he considers recovered, the state of Idaho won't spend a dime managing them.
Campaign Update on "Sarah Palin's Alaska"
See what Defenders and YOU have achieved together, and what else we plan to do.
Breaking News! TLC just revised the description of Sarah Palin's show. Discovery Shareholders meeting is today and they're feeling the heat. Let's keep the pressure on!
"The program will be character driven and centered around Sarah Palin and the pioneering people who make up our 49th state. There will be no politics, policy or advocacy associated ...with this program. It is not a nature documentary, a travelogue nor will it endorse any natural resource or wildlife management policies."
While this falls short of cancelling the show, it is better than the "nature" show they had apparently planned.
What a terrific article by Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote. It’s a must read!
They absolutely nailed it, describing the culture of death that’s destroying our wolves and other apex predators and diminishing their quality of life. It’s hard enough being a wolf without having to endure the continuing persecution and destruction of their families by humans. We need a top down change in wildlife “management”.
This man is murdering the wild ! Remove him from D I O !
Secretary Salazar should have never been appointed to this position because of the conflict of interest that his background reflects.
His long family lineage in the cattle ranching business has obviously shown that he has no interest in the welfare of America's national heritage. His decisions are also influenced by lobbysists in the same line of business from which he came. http://www.petition2congress.com/2/2710/go/ Link to 2 petitions for wild horses ! Put it here because is a murder of wild so of wolf as well !
Speak Up for Wolves in the Great Lakes Region :
Despite the gray wolf's continuing endangerment, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has repeatedly sought to remove Endangered Species Act protection from existing wolf populations. Most recently, the Service announced that petitions aimed at delisting wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and other Great Lakes states may be warranted. The Service thinks it's done with gray wolf recovery even though wolves are absent from most of the United States.
Endangered Species Act protection allowed wolves in Minnesota to disperse into Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This proves that the Endangered Species Act works, but wolf recovery is still far from complete. Wolves occupy a mere 5 percent of their historic range in the lower 48 and continue to face threats to their survival.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other pro-wolf organizations have successfully used the courts to derail the Service's past efforts to prematurely reduce and remove federal protections from gray wolves. In fact, the Service's misguided plans for the gray wolf have been rebuffed by the courts six times in the past five years. Enough is enough. Please tell the Service to abandon its illegal scheme to remove federal protections from gray wolves.
Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson is asking for comments to a plan from Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg that would exclude wolves in both states from the endangered species list, Simpson posted a draft of Rehberg’s plan on his official website, and wants input from Idahoans.
"Like many Idahoans, I am extremely frustrated with the recent court decision that put Rocky Mountain Wolves back on the endangered species list. It is clear that the gray wolf has recovered. The decision to remove the species from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana was based on sound science and has been supported by two Administrations, and I believe that the State of Idaho has proven that it is well equipped to manage wolves in our state.
Without the state having the ability to manage these predators effectively, farmers, ranchers, and hunters will continue to be negatively impacted. That is why it is imperative that we find a solution to this problem that will stand up in court. To this end, I am asking Idahoans to provide input that will help craft a workable solution."
- Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) has drafted legislation, the Idaho and Montana Wolf Management Act of 2010, which would remove the gray wolf from the endangered species act in Idaho and Montana, returning management authority to the states.
* Please take a few moments to review this discussion draft and share your thoughts with me. This bill has not been introduced yet, and I look forward to having your comments as we work to craft a long-term solution to this problem.
Feds to Otter: no wolf hunt this year :
By Brad Iverson-Long
October 9th, 2010
Gov. Butch Otter said federal wildlife officials have signaled that they won’t allow a public wolf hunt this year, and said the state is still negotiating with the feds on how to manage wolves.
“We were told that we were not going to be allowed a hunt,” Otter said to the Idaho Sportsmen’s Caucus Advisory Council Saturday. He said that federal officials turned down Montana’s request for a sanctioned wolf hunt earlier this week. Idaho also asked for a wolf hunt while wolves are federally protected by the endangered species list.
Otter and state wildlife staff met with officials from the Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday, the day Otter had set as a deadline for a wolf management agreement. The governor and his staff said no deal is in place, but one could be coming in the near future.
“I don’t want to give anybody false hope,” Otter said. “I don’t think they’re going to go where we want them to go.” Otter said one key to an agreement on wolves is not spending money from hunting and fishing licenses on wolves. Licenses are the main funding source for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG).
Otter said the state spends at least $350,000 on wolf management, including documenting wolf depredation for livestock producers. “If it’s a dollar, as far as I’m concerned, it’s too much,” Otter said about using sportsmen’s dollars for wolf management.
The state also gets $100,000 from the federal government to handle livestock losses and is part of a new federal grant offering an additional $140,000, if the state can find an equal amount of matching funds.
Several sportsmen at the meeting also said they would like to see an increase in license fees to pay for enhanced IDFG services. Otter said he’d try to organize meetings with lawmakers and wildlife groups about potential increases. The governor called himself “a user-pay guy” and said he’d consider a fee increase.
Rep. Bert Stevenson, R-Rupert, the chair of the House Resources and Conservation Committee, said a fee increase would be a tough sell, unless all the stakeholders show their support to lawmakers.
* Conservationists Worry How Wolf Legislation Could Affect Endangered Species ActBy
POSTED: 6:30 pm MDT October 4, 2010
MISSOULA, Mont. -- A new twist to the debate over wolves in Montana :
Now wildlife agents want hunters to shoot wolves in areas where elk herds are shrinking. That's just the latest move and it comes on the heels of a bill proposed by Democrat Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester to remove wolves from the list of endangered species list in Montana and Idaho.
Conservationists think if this bill passes it could make it easier to bypass the protections of the Endangered Species Act, and that other animals could soon be in danger.
Bob Clark from the Sierra Club thinks if the proposed legislation passes it could take the teeth out of the Endangered Species Act. Clark says, "I do believe that it is dangerous to have congress legislating wildlife management goals and objectives and processes, rather than having that done through the agencies and through the law. We have an Endangered Species Act and it's been very successful and we should use it."
Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Vivaca Crowser says Montana has already proven it can manage its wolf population. She says the state's already shown it by having a successful wolf hunt that doesn't threaten the species.
Crowser says, "It gives us flexibility to control predator and prey numbers and respond to day-to-day needs with wolf management, and be able to manage wolves like any other managed wildlife within the state."
Clark worries new legislation would give power to lobbyists instead of the scientists who should be in charge of deciding which species should be protected. He concludes, "What it does is allow that door to be open for special interest to dictate which animals survive and which ones don't in our country. That could get really scary down the road."
There's already a proposal headed to Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks that would let hunters shoot 12 wolves south of Missoula, near Darby. Wildlife managers say elk numbers have been cut from more than 2,000 to around 750 elk. If approved by FWP, the proposal would head to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wolf Warriors Study shows that wolves have little impact on elk numbers in Idaho.
"Conversely, the report showed that hunters were the biggest cause of elk kills in two other areas with declining populations: the Pioneer zone east of Ketchum, and Island Park near Rexburg."
_________________________________________________________________ I live by a saying,
look into the eyes of a wolf and see their soul, look into thier soul and you see their heart, look into thier heart you see yourself, when you see your heart, can you accept what you see ?
WOLF ORIGINS :
The Evolutionary history of the wolf is not totaly clear, but many biologists believe that the wolf developed from primitive carnivores known as miacids.
Miacids ranged from gopher-sized to dog-sized animals, and appeared in the Lower Tertiary about fifty two million years ago. Miacids in turn had evolved from Cretaceous insectivores. The direct descendants of miacids today are animals called viverrids, which include the genet of Africa.
Relatively late in the evolutionary history of miacids came the appearance of the first canid (Cynodictis), one of these was called the dawn-wolf, this creature had a long body and looked like a enlongated fox, it could live and climb in trees, it was also thought to possibly related to feline species. Some authorities believe that canids originated in North America and then spread to Asia and South America, while others ascribe that a small type of wolf crossed into siberia from alaska, where it eventually developed into the larger, present-day grey wolf. The grey wolf then migrated to North America, where it populated what is now Canada and the United States, except for the southeastern section of the latter country that area was populated by the smaller red wolf(C. rufus). Still Others believe that the dog family originated in North America, migrated to Asia, and then returned.
Wolf ancestors began to develop in the Paleocene, about sixty million years ago. By the Miocene, about twenty million years ago, canines and felines had branched into two separate families. In one ancestor of the wolf,Tomarctus, the fifth toe on the hind leg became vestigal and is evidenced today by the dew claw on both wolves and dogs.
Research of wolf history by Robert Wayne at the University of California suggests that a number of wolflike canids diverged from a common ancestor about two to three million years ago. The first gray wolf,(Canis Lupis), probably appeared in Eurasia sometime in the early Pleistocene period about a million years ago. Around 750,000 years ago, it is though to have migrated to North America.
The Dire Wolf,(Canis Dirus), larger and heavier than the gray wolf, evolved earlier and the two co existed in North America for about 400,000 years. As prey became extinct around 16,000 years ago due to climatic change, the dire wolf gradually became extinct itself. Around 7,000 years ago the gray wolf became the prime canine predator in North America
THE DIRE WOLF :
The dire wolf was a large canine that exhibited hyena like characteristics. Like thehyena, the dire wolf hunted and scavenged for food. Researchers suspect that dire wolves, due to their scavenging nature, scattered the bones of animals they killed or that were killed by other prey.
The dire wolf was not quite like any animal we have today. It was similar in overall size and mass to a large modern gray wolf.
(A popular misconception is that dire wolf dwarfed the modern day grey wolf)
It was about 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and weighed about 50 kilograms (110 pounds) on average. The dire wolf looked fairly similar to the modern gray wolf; however, there were several important differences. The dire wolf had a larger, broader head and shorter, more sturdy legs than its modern relative.
The teeth of dire wolf much larger and more massive than those of the gray wolf. The braincase of the dire wolf is also smaller than that of a similarly-sized gray wolf. The fact that the lower part of the legs of the dire wolf are proportionally shorter than those of the gray wolf, indicates that the dire wolf was probably not a good a runner as the gray wolf.
Many paleontologists think that the dire wolf may have used its relatively large, massive teeth to crush bone. This idea is supported by the fact that dire wolf teeth frequently have large amounts of wear on their crowns. Several people have suggested that dire wolves may have made their living in similar ways to the modern hyenas. Wolves and coyotes are relatively common large carnivores found in Ice Age sites. In fact, several thousand dire wolves have been found in the asphalt pits at Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles, CA. The coyote, gray wolf, and dire wolf have all been found in paleontological sites in the midwestern U.S.
The first specimen of a dire wolf was found at near Evansville, Indiana. Clark Kimberling of the University of Evansville has traced the very interesting history of this specimen.
The genus Canis underwent a mixed fate at the end of the Pleistocene. The gray wolf and coyote survived the extinction thatoccurred approximately 10,000 years ago. The dire wolf, however, was one of the animals that did not survive. Perhaps the dire wolf depended on scavenging the remains of the large herbivores of the last Ice Age. The extinction of these herbivores may have then led to the extinction of the dire wolf. Scientists do not know if this is the case; however, they continue to search for the reason that many kinds of mammals went extinct about 10,000 years ago.
The evolution of these three species of canids is very interesting. Paleontologists think that, although all three of the species were found in the same area at the same time, each comes from a different evolutionary lineage within the genus Canis. That is, none of these three species is the direct ancestor of either of the other two species.
The grey wolf was well was established in North America by the time the first Native American and Inuit Peoples came across the Beringia, about eighteen thousand years ago.
The Evolution of the domestic dog is still a matter of much debate. Some Believe that the dog is descended from the wolf, while others think they are evolved separately from a common ancestor. Recently the American Society of Mammologist recommended that the domestic dog be reclassified as a new subspecies of wolf, Canis lupus familiaris. There is some genetic evidence that the dog is descendent from the wolf and that the domestication of the dog took place several times over the course of history.
(Special kind of Grey wolf !)
==== The Gray Wolf Taxonomy in North America =====
A subspecies is a group of individuals within a species which share a unique geographic area or habitat, unique physical characteristics, or a unique natural history.
Extinct sub/species : =
For decades, some biologists recognized twenty-four subspecies of the graywolf (Canis lupus) in North America :
= 1) alces : the Kenai Peninsula wolf, one of the largest of North American wolves, extinct by 1925
2) arctos : the white wolf of the high Arctic, found from Melville Island to Ellesmere Island
3) baileyi : the smallest North American gray wolf, originally found from Mexico to the southwest United States; according to many authorities, indistinguishable from C.l. monstrabilis and C.l. mongollonensis
= 4) beothucus : the Newfoundland wolf, now extinct; reported as almost pure-white
= 5) bernardi : limited to Banks and Victoria Islands in the Arctic, described as white with black-tipped hair along the spinal ridge; not 1952
6) columbianus : a large wolf found in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta
7) crassodon : a medium-sized , grayish wolf found on Vancouver Island
= 8) fuscus : a brownish-colored wolf from the Cascade Mountains; extinct by 1940
9) griseoalbus : a large wolf found in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
10) hudsonicus : a light-colored wolf found in northern Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories
11) irremotus : a medium-size, light-colored wolf from the northern Rocky Mountains
12) labradorius : the wolf of Labrador and northern Quebec
13) ligoni : a small, dark-colored wolf from the Alexander Archipelago in the arctic islands
14) lycaon : the eastern timber wolf of Canada and the United States; it originally had the largest range of all the North American subspecies; the first subspecies to be recognized in North America (1775)
15) mackenzii : the Northwest Territories wolf, not recognized as a subspecies until 1943
16) manningi : the smallest arctic wolf, found on Baffin Island; either white or light-colored; not recognized as a subspecies until 1943
= 17) mogollonensis : a medium-sized wolf found in Arizona and New Mexico; extinct by 1935
18) monstrabilis : a wolf found in Texas and New Mexico; extinct by 1942
= 19) nubilis : the Great Plains or "buffalo" wolf,; extinct by 1926; usually light in color
20) occidentalis : a large wolf from western Canada, also called the Mackenzie Valley wolf
21) orion : a white or very light-colored wolf from Greenland
22) pambasileus : a dark-colored wolf from Alaska and the Yukon
23) tundrarum : the arctic tundra wolf; light in color
= 24) youngi : the southern Rocky Mountain wolf; extinct by 1935; light buff color
° For the last few decades, more specimens have been examined and as a better understanding of wolf genetics and behavior has been gained, zoologists have tended to recognize fewer populations as being subspecifically or racially distinct.
° At the 1992 North American Wolf Symposium, based largely on statistical analysis of skulls, taxonomist Ron Nowak suggested that North American Canis lupus be classified into the following five groups :
1) occidentalis: of most of Alaska and western Canada (including alces, columbianus, griseoalbus, mackenzii, occidentalis, pambasileus, tundrarum)
2) nubilus: of most of the western United States, southeastern Alaska, and central and northeastern Canada (including beothucus, crassodon, fuscus, hudsonicus, irremotus, labradorius, lycaon of Minnesota, ligoni, manningi, mogollonensis, monstrabilis, youngi)
3) lycaon: of southeastern Canada and the northeastern United States
4) arctos: of most of the Canadian Arctic islands and Greenland (including arctos, bernardi, orion)
5) baileyi: of Mexico and the extreme southwestern United States.
The Wolf Almanac / Robert H. Busch / A celebration of wolves and their world.
Gray Wolf Taxonamy - Eruasia
X Indicates an extinct subspecies
- albus a large, light-colored wolf from the northern Russian Federation and northern Finland.
- arabs a small, buff-colored wolf from the Arabian peninsula; not recognized as a subspecies until 1934.
- campestris the central Asian wolf, or steppe wolf.
- chanco (= laniger) the wolf of Mongolia and China.
- cubanenis found between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea; not recognized by some taxonomists.
- X detanus a small wolf once found in Spain, now extinct; not recognized by some taxonomists as a subspecies.
- desertorum (= palies) Asian desert wolf, found in the arid areas east of the Black Sea; not recognized by some taxonomists.
- X hatti (= rex) a wolf once found in Hokkaido, Japan; probably not extinct, although some taxonomists believe it still survives on Sakhalin Island.
- X hodophilax a wolf once found in Honshu, Japan; extinct since 1935; much smaller than C.I hatti.
-laniger (see chance)
-lupus the most common species throught Eurasia, and the first named of all wolf subspecies, designated by Linnaeus in 1758.
- X minor a wolf once found in Hungary and Austria; extinct by the early 1900s.
-palies (see desrtorium).
-pallipes a small wolf of India and southern Asia; synonymous with arabs, according with some taxonomists.
-rex (see hatti).
-signatus the Iberian wolf of Spain and Portugal; not recognized by some taxonomists.
Other wolf species
-canis simensis the Abyssinian wolf, is another debated species that inhabits the highlands of Ethiopia. The plethora of alternate names for the animal reflects its questional
-taxonomy : Abyssinian jackal, simien jackal, red jackel, simien fox, Abyssinian wolf, Ethipian wolf.
Most of the adult grey wolves weigh in the vicinity of 75 to 125 pounds (34 to 56 kilograms). Males are usually larger than females by as much as twenty-five percent.
There are authenticated records of male wolves weighing as much as 175 pounds (79 kilograms).
As large as wolves are, they usually appear to much larger because of their long hair. In the winter coat, the hair on their back and sides averages 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6.3 centimeters) in length. Starting at the base of the neck, the wolf has a teardrop-shaped mane of hair that elongates into just a crest down the spine toward the tail. Over the shoulder, the mane is about 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) wide. The hairs in the mane are 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12.7 centimeters) long and are attached to erectorpilli muscles, which allow the hairs to stand on end, making the wolf appear even larger.
Extensive studies of the North American wolf species show between 50 to 70 inches (1.3 to 1.8 metres) in total nose-tip-to-tail-tip length. Of that length, one quarter is tail length.
Wolves Stand between 27 to 31 inches (68 to 78 centimeters) high at the shoulder.
Compared to dogs of the same size, wolves' chests are much narrower. Their legs are also longer in proportion to their body weight than are most dogs. Because of its narrower chest, the wolf's left and right foot tracks closer together than the dogs.
There are a number of cultures which have were-creatures in thier mythology, usually involving large predators that hunt by night. Often the were-creatures takes the form of the most dangerous animal found in the area. India has weretigers, Africa has wereleopards, but the most famous of all are the werewolves of medieval Europe.
The term "were" is from the old english word "wer" meaning man, Thus, werewolves , man-wolves, are half human and half animal.
References to wolf-men arose in Europe at around the time of Christ. In book Ten of Homer's Odysseus , the grandfather of the hero Odysseus is named Autolykos, meaning "he who is wolf." The people of Arcadia believed some members of thier culture had the ability to turn themselves into wolves. If they tasted human flesh during the transformation they were doomed to live out their lives as wild beasts unless they abstained from human flesh for nine years. The Roman poet Virgil wrote in the first century B.C about a sorcerer who took poisonous herbs to turn himself into a werewolf.
Werewolves were believed to have two origins, voluntary and involuntary.
Many voluntary werewolves were believed to be people who had made a pact with the devil. most werewolf tales describe men who turned into werewolves at night, when they devoured people and animals, and then returned to human form at daybreak. Night was a time of the devil.
Involuntary werewolves were those whose actions had inadvertently caused a horrible transformation. Persons born on Christmas Eve were often thought to be werewolves. In Sicily, a child conceived during a new moon was thought sure to grow up to be a werewolf. German folk tales told of a mountain brook whose waters turned humans into werewolves.
Tales in Serbia created werewolves from people who drank water collected in wolf footprints
People with slanted eyebrows were also automatically assumed to be wolfmen. In Greece, all epileptics were thought to be werewolves.
Some werewolves were believed to be sinners transformed by god for thier actions. Certain saints were thought to have the power to change sinners in to werewolves. In Armenia, it was believed that an adulterous woman would be visited by the devil, who would bring her a wolf skin to wear. To pay for her sins, she had to wear the skin for seven years before she could return to human form.
Surprisingly, even today there are those who still believe in werewolves. One study showed that eighty percent of Russian farmers surveyed believed in werewolves, proving that the negative imagery associated with wolves still lives
A WEREWOLF LEGEND
The plague was raging in Europe, and werewolves and Vampires roamed the night looking for clean victims to fulfill their blood-lust. It was in this time that people were fleeing their homes in the towns to avoid the plague. Most took refuge in the Forests, while others in the Transylvanian Alps. It was in this time and these dark and foreboding mountains that a grizzly event took place...
Bala Bideski and his family had fled their home into the mountains as the plague took a firm grip of their town (they were the last to escape, and some would say later that it was unfortunate that they did). Bala, his wife Chelitha, his two sons Christopher and Thengal, and his daughter Tahlia had set up a comfortable home in the forested hills that surrounded the mountains. One day Bala and his two sons (Chris 14 and Thengal 16) were cutting and gathering wood for the fire as it was almost Winter and they'd need a large stock-pile to get through the freezing conditions. Chris had wondered off from his father and was getting closer and closer to the steep incline of the mountains rough surface. He was about to return to his father when he heard the whimpering of what sounded like pups. He moved towards the sound, until he came upon a den in a small clearing. There in the mouth of the den were two beautiful pups, one of which looked strangely human. Chris came close to the pups and picked one of them up. After a while of petting the wolf-pup he put it back on the ground and left the area to find his father and brother.
Not long after the young boy had left, the she-wolf returned to her den to find one of her pups covered in the smell of humans. The father of the pups was a lycanthrope who preferred to stay in wolf form, and he was livid...The lycanthrope had no choice but to kill his pup that had been handled by a human. After he did the deed, the werewolf went looking for the human perpetrator...It wasn't long before he found the trail and followed it to a small hut on the hills in the forest.
It was getting quite late when the family decided to turn in for the night. Chris laid down and his mother doused the lights. In the early hours of the morning came a "howling " that pierced the night. Chris awoke with a start. He looked around the room he shared with his older brother. The moon outside was full so a stream of silver light poured in through the window above his bed, he could see the shadow of a small tree just outside his window against the far wall...But the shadow of the tree changed, in a second, into the shadow of a wolf standing on its hind legs. Except this wolf was huge...Bigger than any man Chris had ever seen.
" Thengal !" Chris whispered, "Wake up !"
Thengal stirred under his bed covers then opened his eyes... There at the window, silhouetted by the full moon was a wolf-man...Its eyes burned red and glowed. Thengal sat up in his bed...
As he did the creature dived through the window frame and landed on Thengals bed. The werewolf tore at Thengals chest and neck, ripping out vital organs and his wind-pipe as he did so. By the time the wolf-creature was through the sixteen year old boys body lay in tatters on the bed. The wolf turned to Chris, but as it did the door to the room (a long piece of material) was thrown open and Bala and Chelitha bounded into the room. The werewolf flung its huge body out the window once more. Chelitha ran to her dead sons bed and screamed her sorrow, while Bala grabbed his pitch-fork (which he kept at the huts door) and ran out the door... As Bala left the hut a massive claw knocked him into their winter stock-pile of wood, knocking him unconscious. Moments later he awoke to find the wolf towering over him. The werewolf bent down and let the nail of its index finger to touch Bala's Adams-apple. Then, with one quick flinch of its finger, the wolf-thing sliced along Bala's neck, making him choke on his own blood...
Now the wolf-man entered the house once more, this time through the door...
Chelitha's sobs could be heard as the werewolf moved silently through the house to Tahlia's room. The twelve year old girl was sound asleep in her bed as the wolfs shadow moved over her body. Tahlia awoke and looked at the creature...She gave a scream as its jaws closed in on her face and slammed shut, in one swift movement, on her face...The wolf-creature stood and spat blood and pieces of flesh and bone onto the dirt floor. Chelitha ran into the room to find her daughters faceless body laying dead on the floor (where she had ended up), and the beast that did it standing there looking at her. Horror and fear shot through her distraught body. She ran back to her son's room and grabbed Chris. They were about to flee the hut, when the wolf-creature stood in the door-way. Chelitha pulled her last remaining child to her breast. Chris closed his eyes and prayed...All remained silent, so he looked up at his mother's face...But her head was gone...Her body fell to the ground with a thud...
Chris looked about his room... Death was everywhere...But there was no wolf-thing...He stumbled through the house and out the door to exit the hut... There he found his dead father...Shocked and frightened, Chris stumbled into the forest, his breath making plumes in the air...
- In 1126--1136
The next Summer a group of woodsmen found the rotting corpses in the hut. They new that the family had consisted of two son's so they searched the area, but found no trace...For years the rumor circulated that the young boy, Chris, had gone crazy due to the isolation the family endured and had killed them all...Until over ten years later a group of children playing in the forest found the decayed body of a young boy...The authorities found a necklace around the boys neck, this made identification of the body easier as the necklace was very distinctive...They found that the body was of Chris, the missing child of the massacred family.
This story was reportedly told to a Publican who swore he was told by the thing that did these horrible crimes. Apparently after he was told the story, the Publican was attacked by the man, who "changed" into a wolf-like creature...The thing was frightened off, before it could inflict any injury bar a bump on the head, by a group of hunters who'd heard a commotion behind the pub.
A Werewolf legend
This story was then told through the ages in many different countries, until my Nanna from Wales told it to me...