What are the differences between these wolves?

Post wolf-related questions and we'll try our best to find the answers.

Moderators: Isela, Koa

Post Reply
victortiti89
Newborn Wolf
Newborn Wolf
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:35 am

What are the differences between these wolves?

Post by victortiti89 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:35 am

Beside their locations, what differ ences are there between white and arctic wolves? If you saw them together, how would you be able to know which is which?

User avatar
SolitaryHowl
Skilled Hunter
Skilled Hunter
Posts: 6264
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:13 pm
Gender: Female
Location: Canada

Re: What are the differences between these wolves?

Post by SolitaryHowl » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:20 pm

This is a complicated question. What is a wolf, exactly?

There are two kinds of biologists...those that like to split up a species into many different subspecies depending on all sorts of factors (called 'splitters') and those who don't agree that certain subspecies should be separate and like to lump them all together into the parent species (called 'lumpers').

Some of these 'splitters' believe there are 5 subspecies (or kinds) of the wolf (Canis lupus) in North America: Arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), northwestern wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis), Great Plains wolf (Canis lupus nubilus), Mexican wolf(Canis lupus baileyi) and the eastern timber wolf (Canis lupus lycaon)

In short, if we are comparing the wolves that reside in Yellowstone (Canis lupus occidentalis) and the Arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), both of which can be white in colouration:

Arctic wolves are smaller in size (both in height and weight...Arctic wolves tend to be 'stockier'), they have smaller "space" for the brain to fit (I don't know if they have a smaller brain size as well?), and larger carnassial teeth.

So yes...things are much more complicated than it may seem. :)

Further reading:

http://www.wolf.org/wolf-info/basic-wol ... of-wolves/

If you are further interested, I can dig through some of my scientific journals and see if I can find any articles for you to read.
Former WolfQuest Moderator. 2009 - 2011

Avatar is copyright Koa

victortiti89
Newborn Wolf
Newborn Wolf
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:35 am

Re: What are the differences between these wolves?

Post by victortiti89 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:38 pm

Thank you for your great and helpful answer here!

Interesting indeed and it would be great to find out more. However, I wouldn't want to bother you, so please feel free to post more documents if/whenever you could spare some time for this..:) Thanks again for answering...

User avatar
Koa
WolfQuest Moderator
WolfQuest Moderator
Posts: 12939
Joined: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:53 pm
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: What are the differences between these wolves?

Post by Koa » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:44 pm

Yes, arctic wolves are "stockier" as Solitary pointed out. Specifically, and compared to other subspecies, arctic wolves have rounder ears, a shorter muzzle and shorter legs, all of which help them retain heat. (http://www.wolfquest.org/wolf_arctic.php).

You'll find that other wolf subspecies tend to age into a white or faded fur color in their later years.
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW.

Post Reply

Return to “Wolf Q&A”