Telltale Signs and Behavior of a Timber Wolf
“Look! Is that not the biggest German Shepherd you have ever seen? Let’s pet it!”
If only this was a case of “you say potatoe, I say potato”; however, mistaking a wild animal for a domesticated canine species is a major mistake that can land you in the emergency room after a brutal mauling. Therefore, it is important to know a few pertinent facts regarding the majestic timber wolf.
Generally, a timber wolf does appear like a domesticated dog. The main difference between these two animals lies on the fact that a timber wolf possesses longer limbs equipped with gigantic claws. An anatomical distinction of a timber wolf not found in a regular dog is the presence of a pre-caudal gland found on the tail, but unfortunately is quite small to be visible at a reasonable distance.
The timber wolf, also know as the gray wolf, is the biggest canine in the world. This animal has an average weight of 80 pounds and can stand up to 38 inches tall with a body length of 58 inches excluding the tail length. Its svelte yet muscular body and long limbs are adapted for harsh travel and hunting.
The coat of a timber wolf is worth admiring not only because of its beauty but also for providing great protection against harmful external elements. A healthy coat appears thick and fluffy as it consists of two coats one over the other with three capes. The topmost hairs are longer and collectively serve as a sort of “raincoat” over the underlying hairs. The shorter hairs underneath provide necessary warmth during winter months.
Fur color comes in a variety of colors and shades depending on where the animals inhabit. Animals that live in areas where snow is abundant generally come in grayish and whitish colors. Wolves living in the desert possess furs ranging in burnish hues to dark brown. A timber wolf in a densely packed forest would have a dark coat. In a nutshell, fur color is a matter of camouflaging the animal.
A timber wolf’s face is a regal sight to behold especially with its usually piercing amber eyes with specks of fluorescent green seen during the night. Its face is broad with well-muscled jaws adapted for tearing flesh. It has been reported that the jaws of a timber wolf can exert 1,500 pounds of pressure per square inch twice as powerful as that of a German shepherd! To masticate their food better, this awesome animal comes with 42 strong teeth.
Aside from their anatomical prowess, timber wolves also possess very sophisticated senses as ranked with #1 as the most keen:
1) Hearing – is the most acute sense of a timber wolf. In open areas, it is reported that a wolf can hear up to 10 miles! Even during sleep a wolf does not seem to stop itself from hearing.
2) Smell – this vital sense that has allowed wolves to survive for as long as they have. In fact, a timber wolf’s sense of smell is over a hundred times better than ours.
3) Sight – is comparable to human sight.
4) Taste – with the first three senses very developed, a sophisticated palate is not needed by the animal.