How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

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ShadowOkamiMT
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How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by ShadowOkamiMT » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:53 pm

I was wondering and I did not really see this question asked or answered anywhere on here. So I am going to go ahead and ask, how large are wolves in Chernobyl on average and how does the sizes vary by gender? It is pretty obvious to those who actually look further into things like myself that you guys based the Lost River map off of Chernobyl where a nuclear disaster happened causing wolves living there to mutate and become larger and more aggressive. So can you guys please tell me the largest height and width that a wolf from there could be? I would prefer an explanation of how large they would be on all four and not measured by length of the body. Thank you and have a nice day!
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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by DaniBeez » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:44 pm

Hi Shadow Okami,

I think you have some misconceptions about evolution and the effects of radiation on living organisms.
ShadowOkamiMT wrote:where a nuclear disaster happened causing wolves living there to mutate and become larger and more aggressive
While radiation exposure absolutely can cause genetic mutation to occur, these mutations and their subsequent effects on an organism are random. Because of this random nature, and because of the way DNA is structured, many of the mutations won't have any visible affect on an organism. The "visible" effects of the radiation-based mutations that do end up making changes would not be things as complex as total body size increase or behavioural aggression. The changes would be more subtle cellular-level things that can sometimes lead to visible deformities or other reductions in overall individual fitness. In general, research around Chernobyl has shown that population sizes in several groups of organisms (birds, insects, mammals) did initially decline as a result of the disaster. But over time and generations, some groups have shown genetic evidence of selection for traits that help them resist their radioactive environment on the cellular level. But nothing as dramatic as getting larger or more aggressive!

Also, radiation-based DNA damage can only be passed on to successive offspring if the DNA coding for reproductive cells is damaged. Other non-reproductive DNA mutations will not be passed on.

So a reasonable way to answer your question about how big a wolf from Chernobyl could be would be to look at average body size data for Eastern European wolves, and then look at what the upper extremes were.
ShadowOkamiMT wrote:I would prefer an explanation of how large they would be on all four
I am not sure what that means to be honest. I think you could probably find data on weight, maybe height to shoulder, and total body length from nose to tail.

Good luck! Unless someone else does the homework for you :P.
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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by ShadowOkamiMT » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:35 pm

Actually I have no misconceptions they are noted to be larger than other wolves are typically and that was summed up to be caused by the radiation. also this does not answer my question, so what exactly was your point of replying to this other than to be smart? May want to work on that little attitude of yours.

Also to explain to you further where I got my information on them here are the links.

https://www.dw.com/en/radioactive-wolve ... a-19131657

https://www.livescience.com/62964-chern ... ading.html

So instead of being rather rude and saying the stuff you did about me and what I know, how about you do YOUR research.

Also I was asking for the actually people who are incharge of these forums to answer since they probably know a bit more about wolves than you do. So I will patiently await for an actual answer to my question, than a bunch of other stuff regarding these types of things from a kid.
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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by valkea » Sat Jul 28, 2018 6:45 pm

I would like to say that non-moderators are allowed to answer questions here, and many of them have more knowledge than the moderators as they are not all wolf experts. It is a forum moderation position and not a wolf educator position. Dani also used to be a moderator and has answered many detailed questions in the past about wolves. She's also not quite a kid, she's in her 20s and if I'm remembering correctly, in college for wildlife research reasons.

She's trying to help you, not insult you, and lashing out at people for trying to help isn't a good way to get answers.
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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by alethe » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:07 pm

correlation =/= causation. Chernobyl is located in Ukraine, which is a very cold climate. animals that thrive in colder environments, although the same species as their warmer-dwelling counterparts, tend to be larger. a good example of this is in the red-tailed hawk; western variety birds tend to live in colder climates and can be 200-300g bigger than eastern red-tailed hawks, though both are still Buteo jamaicensis.

also the second article which you linked uses the word "growing" as a term to describe population increase, not as physical growth in the wolves itself. i couldn't find any claim in either of them that says that the wolves are physically larger or more aggressive.


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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by paperpaws » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:08 am

@ShadowOkamiMT - keep it civil. You are not entitled to getting an answer to your question and there is no need to talk down on people who put in the effort to provide relevant information. valkea effectively covered the matter in stating that "regular" users are just as likely to know what they are talking about than any forum or game staff are.
alethe wrote:also the second article which you linked uses the word "growing" as a term to describe population increase, not as physical growth in the wolves itself. i couldn't find any claim in either of them that says that the wolves are physically larger or more aggressive.
I could not find support for your claim in either of the sources you linked either.

You're free to continue exchanging information on the matter. If this topic cannot continue in a constructive fashion, however, I will lock it.
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Re: How large are Chernobyl Wolves?

Post by Koa » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:07 am

Sorry I'm late; I didn't realize what was going on.

A simple Wikipedia search reveals valuable information; the site already has relevant size and weight information compiled for Eurasian wolves (which are the ones at Chernobyl) and, while the page does not touch on Chernobyl specifically, touches on Ukraine, the country in which Chernobyl is located. Some of the biggest Eurasian wolves have been caught there. All of these references link back to books. I don't have time to go back through each one, but I have seen these sources before.
The size of Eurasian wolves is subject to geographic variation, with animals in Russia and Scandinavia being larger and bulkier than those residing in Western Europe,[13] having been compared by Theodore Roosevelt to the large wolves of north-western Montana and Washington.[14] Adults from Russia measure 105–160 centimetres (41–63 in) in length, 80–85 centimetres (31–33 in) in shoulder height, and weigh on average 32–50 kilograms (71–110 lb), with a maximum weight of 69–80 kilograms (152–176 lb).[3] The largest on record was killed after World War II in the Kobelyakski Area of the Poltavskij Region in the Ukrainian SSR, and weighed 86 kilograms (190 lb).[15] Larger weights of 92–96 kilograms (203–212 lb) have been reported in Ukraine, though the circumstances under which these latter animals were weighed are not known.[3]:174
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_wolf

For comparison:
The heaviest recorded gray wolf in North America was killed on 70 Mile River in east-central Alaska on July 12, 1939 and weighed 79.4 kg (175 lb).[53]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_wolf
A reposted article, for additional context into North American wolf size:
http://carnivoraforum.com/single/?p=8253913&t=9432973

Chernobyl occurred in 1986, about forty years after World War II's end. Because the wolf was killed after World War II, I think it's safe to say wolves in Ukraine were already big before Chernobyl, so your claim that radiation from Chernobyl has made wolves larger is invalid in that context.

Furthermore, if you cannot ask questions or receive answers nicely, you will be banned from asking further questions in Wolf Q&A. paperpaws and Neamara are on breaks right now. I myself am busy and/or don't always pay attention to WolfQuest properly especially since I do not have my laptop (which makes answering questions here difficult), but please direct any additional comments you have to me, as I am the moderator of this forum, and I will address you when I have time.

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