WOLF, a typical wild species of the dog family (Conde). So closely related are wolves to the domestic and other true dogs (q.v.) that zoologists have been unable to find any satis factory structural differences. As the distinc tions are purely specific and largely founded upon the habits and character of the fur, all of the wolves are customarily placed in the ex tensive genus Canis along with the dogs and jackals. Excepting some of the domesticated varieties of dogs, wolves arc the largest mem bers of the family, and normally they howl and do not bark as do the dogs and jackals. Their natural range is throughout North Amer ica and Eurasia, but no true wolves are found in the Southern hemisphere, where they are re placed by the smaller carrion-eating jackals and fox-dogs. As they inhabit inefifferently mountain-tops, plains and swamps, and are equally at home on the frozen Arctic shores and the tropical swamps of Mexico and India. they exhibit, as might be expected, a great range of variation. Generally they increase m size, vigor and courage northward, and the for becomes more shaggy and thicker. The species and varieties have never been very satisfactorily discriminated and many zoologists consider that the large northern woodland wolf of both continents is a single wide-ranging variabie species. Certainly these active animals are free to cross between the Old and New Worlds is the winter on the ice by way of Greenland or Alaska.
The American gray or timber wolf (C ores tientalis) when full-grown measures fire and one-half fret in length, whereof 18 inches be lng to the tail; its height is 33 inches, and its weight over 100 pounds. The general aspect is that of a large dog, and, Indeed. domestic dogs of the Indians were partly derived from this species arid some of the European varieties from the native wolf. They are lank, long limbed creatures with erect ears and drooping, rather bushy tails; the hair of the neck is erally more or less elongated and erectile. celor is very variable, the prevailing tone being gray. more or less marked with black; and be comes paler in winter and snore reddish in sum mer Southward the colors deepen, leading to the black wolf (C. atre) of Florida, the red wolf (C. risfur) of Texas and the dusky wolf U. nNbilus) of the central plains, while in the far North the Arctic wolf (C. Whist) is nearly pore white with a black tail-tip. The gray wolf was formerly very abundant and trouble some in most parts of North America, but has more rapidly and completely succumbed to the march of civilization here than in Europe, and lolly, :ince disappeared from even the forest clad portions of the Eastern States. At the present time wolves arc_practically extinct in the cast of the Mississippi River, but still roam in large packs in the northern and western Canadian forests and wooded swamps, and are especially large and plentiful in New foundland and the Hudson Bay region. Owing
to their activity and restless wandering habits small parties are likely to appear in the winter at places where none have been known for years. As the habits of all large wolves are essentially similar the following account of the European wolf (C. lupus), which has remained much more generally plentiful and troublesome than ours, will answer for the whole group: Wolves inhabit a great variety of country, both hill and plain, especially thick forests and broken ground, with alternate morasses and dry patches, and in the South the steppes. They shelter in woods, marshes, canebrakes and maize fields, roaming over wide areas, often suddenly appearing where none have been seen for years, and as quickly vanishing— nor is this wonderful when it is remembered that they will cover from 25 to 40 miles in a single night. In the neighborhood of dwellings they only ap pear after twilight, hut in secluded places carry on their hunting all day. Their food varies ac cording to the season, consisting in summer almost exclusively of wild animals — foxes, hedgehogs, mice, birds, reptiles and even vege tables; of larger animals, elk and deer, while hares are soon exterminated where wolves at.ound. While readily associating and inter heeding with large domestic dogs which have niti wild, they frequently attack and devour house dogs and even weak or injured members of their own species. They follow herds of lemmings in their migrations, and will devour carrion with avidity; but they do not appear to attack man unless in large numbers or pressed by hunger. Accounts of such attacks in the latter part of winter are frequent in the European press and are occasionally reported from the woods of Minnesota, Michigan and the Canada.. In winter they approach nearer to human habitations, doing much damage to flocks of sheep and poultry. When in parks they will attack horses and cattle. In the chase the wolf exhibits all the cunning of the fox, and in addition courage and the capability of hunting in packs. These will even divide in parties, one following the trail of the quarry, the other endeavoring to intercept its retreat. In mental qualities the wolf is in every respect the equal of the fox; his caution is so great that he regards every unfamiliar object with suspicion, will not pass through a door if he can leap over the wall, and will not, unless famished, attack a tethered animal lest it should be the bait of a trap. When he sees himself captured his courage and ferocity at once for sake him.