Sierra Club: The Planet--1996
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The Planet
Which Wolf is Which?

Gray Wolf canis lupus

Most gray wolves don't weigh more than 100 pounds, though Alaskan wolves may be larger. While many are a tawny gray, they can range in color from white to black. Gray wolves travel in packs of six to 10, though occasionally much larger packs are sighted. They are opportunistic feeders, their prey ranging from mouse to moose.

Red Wolf canis rufus

A reclusive animal that weighs between 40 and 80 pounds, the red wolf is generally a night hunter and travels in groups of two or three. Scientists are in disagreement over the origins of the red wolf. Some insist it is a genetically distinct species; some assert that it is a subspecies of gray wolf; others theorize that it is a hybrid of gray wolves and coyotes.

Mexican Wolf canis lupus baileyi

The smallest and southernmost of the gray wolf subspecies, the Mexican wolf's range originally extended from northern Mexico into the mountainous parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The most endangered wolf subspecies, the Mexican wolf is extinct in the wild in the United States -- and, scientists say, probably in Mexico as well. A small captive population exists in the United States.


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