Polar wolves (lat. Canis lupus tundrarum) represent the appearance of ordinary wolves . They belong to the family of canids and the genus of wolves . In their external characteristics, they do not differ from representatives of the species of gray ordinary wolves. Their characteristic color is determined by the habitat.
Polar wolves are fairly dimensional mammals . The size of their body reaches about 180 meters in length with a height of 100 centimeters. Body weight ranges from 85 to 92 kilograms. Sometimes polar wolves can be quite large, but the number of such representatives is quite small.
Sexual dimorphism is that females are 15 percent smaller than males. The distinctive fur of the polar wolves is characterized by a strong density and white color, which has a reddish tint. The limbs are muscular and long. The tail is short, covered with thick and lush hair.
The habitat of polar wolves is concentrated on the territory of the Arctic tundra , with the exception of ice spaces. These representatives are found in dark polar areas. The animals adapted to the harsh conditions of the Arctic, which is why they are able to withstand low temperature conditions for a long time, often starve and have no access to sunlight.
At the moment, these predatory animals have inhabited the most barren terrain of the earth. The temperature does not rise above April - 30 degrees Celsius, and the whole territory is subject to the influence of strong and gusty winds. Vital activity in the Arctic is supported by an extremely small number of mammals .
Since the Arctic consists almost entirely of open spaces, polar wolves can lurk to suddenly grab their prey. Their main food is musk ox and deer . Less commonly, small lemmings and polar hares are included in the diet. Hunting is in packs. If a herd of musk oxen runs next to the wolves, then they arrange a chase. During this time, the musk ox have time to take up a circular defense. Then the animals are forced to wait, because they will not be able to break through the fence of horns and hooves.
Polar wolves can arrange runs around the herd, as a result of which they are musk oxen can change their position, breaking the circle. However, this tactic does not always work. If they managed to do this, then the musk ox becomes a fairly simple prey. Wolves go in pursuit of a solitary victim, and then grab it together and bring it down to the ground.
With the onset of winter, organized flocks of polar wolves begin to look for places with a more favorable climate , where they can find a victim. They migrate south following reindeer flocks. If the polar wolf has not had access to food for a long time, then it eats about 10 kilograms of meat. Carcasses are cut using their powerful fangs, and meat is swallowed almost immediately.
The breeding season begins in March. Pregnancy lasts about 63 days. On average 4 cubs are born. Offspring is brought only by the female leader, who is elected among the other females of the pack. If another female becomes pregnant, then her litter is immediately destroyed. This is due to insufficient food in their territory, which is why wolves cannot acquire large offspring.
After the breeding season, the female is separated from the pack and is engaged in the search for safe shelter. Sometimes it equips it independently, but more often it populates crevices of rocks. Cubs appear very weak with a weight of not more than 410 grams at birth.
At first, the little polar wolves spend with the female. She feeds them with milk, and at the age of one month they begin to eat semi-digested meat, which the male belches. While the female is busy caring and tracking the wolf cubs, the male goes in search of food. If the polar wolves are well fed, then they quickly get on their feet. With the onset of summer, they join a pack of adult wolves. At 3 years old, the animals become sexually mature.
Polar wolf with puppy
Outside, polar wolves live in the range of 5 to 15 years. Despite good health, a long period of hunger significantly reduces their life expectancy. It is extremely rare for bears to attack polar wolves. There are fights between relatives. In captivity, these animals live up to 20 years.
Interesting facts about the polar wolf
Arctic Wolf - video