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Science: Wolves are survivors

[large thumbnail url=”science-wolves-are-survivors” filename=”science” year=”2010″ month=”05″ day=”18″] [thumbnail icon url=”science-wolves-are-survivors” filename=”science” year=”2010″ month=”05″ day=”18″] Dr. Reese Halter, conservation biologist at Cal Lutheran University, public speaker and founder of the international conservation institute Global Forest Science, wrote a thoughtful and informative article regarding wolves.

Portrayed throughout history as a villainous critter that wastefully kills, the wolf’s reputation precedes it. The traditional image, however, is unwarranted and incorrect.

Wolves are highly intelligent social animals. They are a critically important predator in the Western food chain. When wolves eat, so too do a host of other animals including wolverines, lynx, bobcats, mink, weasels, hares, porcupines, squirrels, mice, voles, shrews and ravens.

Wolves’ ancestry dates back to about 15 million years ago. They are related to foxes and domesticated dogs. There are two species in North America, the gray or timber wolf, and the red wolf. Wolves have the largest natural range of any animal on our continent and their main predator is human beings. Hence, they have been hunted and poisoned, at one point to near extinction. Thankfully, they are survivors.

The translation of the wolf’s Latin name is literally “dog wolf,” and for good reason. Wolves and dogs share common features. They both have a similar gestation time of about two months. And they both molt in the spring and grow winter coats in response to season differences in temperatures…

Read the entire article: Wolves are survivors

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