10 Interesting Facts about Wolves and History Involving Wolves
By angelamontana


Many people look forward to wolf season in Montana, whether you’re hunting and/or trapping.  For most sportsmen in Montana, wolves are not something to celebrate here and in surrounding areas. 

Here are a few facts that I found on FactRetriever.com that you may or may not have known about wolves and wolves in history…assuming these are all true:

Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, coyotes, dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.[1]

Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. Humans have only about 5 million. Wolves can smell other animals more than one mile (1.6 kilometers) away.[2]

Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as “psychological castration.” Lower-ranking females are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat.[4]

Wolves can swim distances of up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) aided by small webs between their toes.[2]

In the 1600s, Ireland was called “Wolf-land” because it had so many wolves. Wolf hunting was a popular sport among the nobility, who used the Irish wolfhound to outrun and kill wolves. The earliest record of an Irish wolfhound dates from Roman times in A.D. 391.[6]

A wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40 miles (56 km) per hour when necessary, but only for a minute or two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can travel all day at this speed.[7]

The Aztecs used wolf liver as an ingredient for treating melancholy. They also pricked a patient’s breast with a sharpened wolf bone in an attempt to delay death.[6]

Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.[1]

Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as “psychological castration.” Lower-ranking females are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat.[4]

Between 1883 and 1918, more than 80,00 wolves were killed in Montana for bounty.[4]

1Bailey, Jill. Animals under Threat: Gray Wolf. Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library, 2005.

2Brandenburg, James and Judy Brandenburg. Face to Face with Wolves. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2008.

3Dutcher, Jim and Jamie Dutcher. Living with Wolves. Seattle, WA: Braided River, 2005.

4Grambo, Rebecca L. Wolf: Legend, Enemy, Icon. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, Inc., 2005.

5Leach, Michael. Wolf: Habitats, Life Cycles, Food Chains, Threats. New York, NY: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, 2003.

6Ménatory, Anne. The Art of Being a Wolf. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books, 2005.

7Reid, Mary E. Wolves and Other Wild Dogs. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc., 2005.

(feature photo via PBS; Facts via https://www.factretriever.com/wolves-facts)





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