Black wolves questions...

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victortiti89
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Black wolves questions...

Post by victortiti89 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:52 pm

1)What is their origin? How long ago did they came to be?

2)Are they common? Are black wolves even a wolf subspecies, or it so happens that some wolves are fully black?

3)Black wolves were featured in movies(eg: "The Grey") and in one videogame(as a special type of wolf). How comes that? Are they considered to be more "aggressive" or "dangerous" than other wolves, or did the producers just thought about their appearance alone?(Black wolves surely seem scary to some, or at least different).

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Re: Black wolves questions...

Post by paperpaws » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:40 am

Keep in mind that most of these are semi-educated guesses - I could try and find proper sources for you, but I am pretty confident that these answers are correct.

1) The black coat mutation is believed to have originated from mixing with black dogs at some point, although it is not sure when this occurred:
  • "[Scientists] found that a novel mutated variant of a gene in dogs, known as the K locus, is responsible for black coat color and was transferred to wolves through mating.

    The biologists are unsure of when the black coat color was transferred from dogs to wolves, but they believe it was not a recent occurrence; the black coat could not have spread as widely as it has throughout North America in just a few hundred years, they say. They suspect the transfer took place sometime before the arrival of Europeans to North America and involved dogs that were here with Native Americans."
2) Going off on the article linked above, I'd say that they're common in North America, but not so much in other places around the world. It is my understanding that black wolves are not a subspecies of wolves, but rather, are just gray wolves with a genetic mutation.

3) I am assuming that this is the case because the colour black is commonly used to symbolise mystery or even evil. The black coat mutation should not affect their temperament whatsoever, so it is safe to say that this is just a common trope based on the usual associations with the colour black.
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roguemoon
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Re: Black wolves questions...

Post by roguemoon » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:12 am

The density of black coloured wolves depends on the area they're found. Where I'm from, it's estimated that over half the wolves in the province are black. I got this tidbit from the Alberta Wilderness Association website:
Although normally gray in colour, variations from white to black are common, with black wolves being disproportionately high in Alberta: 55% compared to 33% in northern BC and 32% in Alaska.

Since black fur isn't really detrimental characteristic (I imagine it would be rather beneficial for wolves hunting at night or in deep woods since it helps them blend in better) then there's no reason for it to be eliminated from the population.
I know that there's a high number of black wolves in Yellowstone too (over 50%). Makes sense since the original wolves brought to the park during the reintroduction in 1995 were from Alberta.

Hope this helps answer at least one of your questions.
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Re: Black wolves questions...

Post by Pegasos » Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:02 am

victortiti89 wrote:3)Black wolves were featured in movies(eg: "The Grey") and in one videogame(as a special type of wolf). How comes that? Are they considered to be more "aggressive" or "dangerous" than other wolves, or did the producers just thought about their appearance alone? (Black wolves surely seem scary to some, or at least different).
I like your question. This is also what I've sometimes wondered. I think most of people who plays video games, chooses the wolf based on their favorite color(s) or simplicity, one-two-colored wolf. I think they're more easily to imagine one colored wolf like arctic one. Grey wolves have much of different colors which is sometimes difficult to describe.
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Re: Black wolves questions...

Post by Koa » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:49 am

Considering the question has been sufficiently answered, I will lock this topic as there is not much left to contribute.
Topic locked.
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