Arctic Wolves (also called Melville Island Wolves) live where few other animals can survive. Their habitat, the Arctic, is freezing cold with temperatures that rarely rise above -30 degrees Celsius (-22 Fahrenheit) and are often much colder than that. On this page is a list of interesting facts about these amazing animals written for both kids and adults. Information on this page includes how Arctic Wolves have adapted for survival in the Arctic, what they eat, and where they live.
Arctic Wolf Interesting Facts
The scientific name for the Arctic Wolf is Canis Lupus Arcticus.
Arctic wolves are a subspecies of Gray Wolves.
Their habitat is the northern most regions of North America and the north and east shores of Greenland.
Due to the scarcity of prey in the Arctic these wolves have territories that can extend 1,000 square miles or more, much wider than wolves who live further south.
Arctic wolves sometimes live alone but usually live in packs of between five and eight wolves. Packs hunt together and can kill larger prey than a lone wolf. Packs have a complex social order led by a dominant male and female wolf. Only the alpha (dominant) female will have pups.
Their life span in the wild is about 7 years.
These predators diet consist of numerous animals of the arctic including musk oxen, caribou, arctic hare, lemmings, seals, ptarmigan, and other birds.
The soil in their habitat for the most part stays frozen year round, a condition called permafrost, which makes it impossible to dig dens. These animals find shelter in caves and rock coverings.
The biggest threats to these animals are Polar bears, other wolves, and of course humans. Unlike other wolf species the Arctic Wolf has never been seriously threatened by humans due to the fact there are very few humans living in the arctic.
Arctic Wolf Physical Description
The Arctic Wolf is usually completely white. This white coat provides great camouflage in the snowy Arctic.
It has two layers of fur which provide excellent insulation from the freezing climate it lives in.
These wolves are smaller than other gray wolf subspecies with shorter muzzles and ears to help prevent loss of heat. They also have shorter legs and are bulkier than other wolves, all which help it stay warm.
Male adult Arctic Wolves weigh between 75 and 120 pounds (34 - 54 kilograms), females weigh slightly less.
These mammals are 3 to 5 feet long (90 - 150 centimeters) from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail.
Their height, measured at the shoulder is 25 - 30 inches (63 - 76 centimeters).
Arctic Wolf Adaptation Facts
These animals have a thick white fur coat which helps keep them warm and serves as camouflage in their snowy habitat.
Arctic wolves have many different characteristics from gray wolves, all of which help them survive in their colder habitat. To reduce their exposure to the freezing air they have developed shorter legs, shorter muzzles, and smaller ears.
The Arctic Wolf has hair between the pads of its feet that keep their feet warm as they walk on the frozen landscape.
In order to reduce heat loss, they have more rounded ears, a shorter muzzle and shorter legs than other gray wolf subspecies.
These animals have adapted well to survival as a predator in the harsh arctic climate. Their keen eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell help them find prey.
These predators have developed great endurance; which is often necessary when searching for limited prey in arctic regions. They may travel up to ten hours a day covering more than forty miles in search of food.
Arctic wolves can run at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour (64.4 km per hour) over short distances. This speed enables it to catch most of its prey if it starts its attack from a close enough point.