Talk:Gray wolf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Former featured article Gray wolf is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Good article Gray wolf has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 31, 2005.
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Dogs (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Dogs, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Canidae and Dogs on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Mammals (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Mammals, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of mammal-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Canada / Saskatchewan (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Canada, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Canada on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Saskatchewan.
WikiProject Alaska (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Alaska, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the U.S. state of Alaska on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.
Wikipedia Version 1.0 Editorial Team / v0.5
WikiProject icon This article has been reviewed by the Version 1.0 Editorial Team.
Taskforce icon
This article has been selected for Version 0.5 and subsequent release versions of Wikipedia.
 GA  This article has been rated as GA-Class on the quality scale.


Canis lupus redirects to gray wolf - this is wrong, Canis lupus contains dog, wolf, jackal and much more. Somebody who knows about the subject needs to do a new page, otherwise I will attempt a bare-bones page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

The article clearly states that the dog is a subspecies of canis lupus, among others including the dingo. This is likewise confirmed in the article on dogs. The jackal however is not a canis lupis subspecies, they are a separate branch of Canis. No change or addition is required. Mediatech492 (talk) 21:38, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


I propose that Migration patterns of the gray wolf be merged here if there's anything worth merging, for fairly obvious reasons.--TKK bark ! 17:51, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Personally, I think it should just be deleted. The referenced info is already pretty much covered in this article, and the rest is uncited.Mariomassone (talk) 17:54, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

I think the article should be redirected to this article instead of being permanently deleted. I don't want the other article's revision history to be lost, even if its content is redundant. Jarble (talk) 02:19, 19 January 2013 (UTC

Text checks[edit]

This content is plagiarized from this source page 4/ 4.3. I really hope this is the only instance, but I'll be starting at the beginning of the article and checking all text against all sources. (olive (talk) 19:00, 28 January 2013 (UTC))

Actual predatory attacks usually involve single wolves, or packs that learn to exploit humans as prey. Such attacks may be preceded by a long period of habituation, in which wolves gradually lose their fear of humans.[17] The victims are generally attacked in a sustained manner around the neck and face, and are then dragged off and consumed, unless the wolves are disturbed. Such attacks tend to cluster in time and space until the offending animals are killed. Linnell, John D. C. (2002). The Fear of Wolves: A Review of Wolf Attacks on Humans. NINA. ISBN 82-426-1292-7.

Removed. --TKK bark ! 19:07, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Changing a few words here and there isn't enough. Wikipedia has stringent standards for what does and does constitute text that is plagiarized or a copyright violation. Sorry, I can't do more on this right now. I hope to get to it in a day or two.(olive (talk) 23:14, 28 January 2013 (UTC))
  • Technically the content is not truly plagiarized since it has been sourced. The content's close proximity to the original text is a more of a copy vio issue. (olive (talk) 23:24, 28 January 2013 (UTC))

Attacks by wolves acting in a predatory manner usually involve wolves acting alone, or packs that learn to exploit humans as prey. Such attacks may be preceded by a long period of habituation, in which wolves gradually lose their fear of humans.[17] Victims of such attacks are generally attacked around the neck and face, and are then dragged off and consumed, unless the wolves are driven off. Such attacks tend to cluster in time and space until the offending animals are killed.

  • spotted/mottled: Mottled comes right out of the source as did the original text about colour in this article. I think "mottled" is fine now since the surrounding text has been changed, and mottled is definitely more accurate than spotted. There may be more copy vios in this article. I suspect there are. This is a serious issue especially given some of the incidents on Wikipedia in the last year or two on copy vio.(olive (talk) 20:33, 2 February 2013 (UTC))
In looking at this article, I see another instance where content from a source was used with only one word change. If anyone knows this article better than I do, I'd suggest looking for more instances of this kind of editing. I'll make more checks; its a huge job to work through each ref and locate the copy vios. I assume whoever wrote the article or at least parts of it thought this was an appropriate way to create article content from sources. (olive (talk) 20:22, 1 February 2013 (UTC))

Gray wolf spotted in Denmark[edit]

I request that someone adds to the section Range_and_Conservation/Europe/Recovery that:

On the 16. of October of 2012 a wolf was spotted in a national park in Thy, Denmark[1][2]. This marked the first time since 1813 that a wild wolf has been observed in Denmark. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:38, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

domestication origin[edit]

It is the sole ancestor of the dog, which was first domesticated in the Middle East.[16]

There are numerous research papers that demonstrate that dogs were domesticated over 30,000 years ago, and likely first in NE Asia. Just because new lines were introduced during the advance of the Neolithic, this does not mean those were the first dogs, nor that earlier dog lines are no longer present, today.

See for example this new paper, and references therein. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eurologist (talkcontribs) 11:13, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

While this is true for MOST domestic dog breeds, it doesn't hold well for SOME domestic dog breeds. The American Indian Dogs are known to have coyotes in their genepool while the Sulimov dogs originated from an experimental crossbreeding between domestic dogs and Golden Jackals. Overall, while most dogs are indeed grey wolves, there are some that actually have different species of canids mixed into them Nosferatuslayer (talk) 21:38, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I think it has been found out that wolves were domesticated into dogs in south-eastern part of present-day China. Anyone who can verify this?

2015-01-03 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Edit request on 26 April 2013[edit]

In regards to references 110 & 111, mounting between same sex animals have been erroneously attributed to homosexual behavior.

Published on July 20, 2011 by Stanley Coren, Ph.D., F.R.S.C. in Canine Corner Mounting behavior (colloquially referred to as "humping"), where a wolf clasps the hips of another wolf and stands on two legs while thrusting his hips, is part of sexual behavior in wolves, however, in most common interactions among canines it has nothing to do with sex, but a lot to do with social dominance.

You can see that mounting behavior can be relatively independent of sexual intentions by watching the behavior of very young puppies. Well before they have reached puberty (which comes at about 6 to 8 months of age) they are already showing this kind of activity. Mounting in puppies appears shortly after they begin walking and appears when they start playing with each other. It is a socially significant behavior, not a sexual one. For young puppies, mounting is one of the earliest opportunities for learning about their physical abilities and their social potential. It basically represents an expression of dominance. The stronger, more authoritative puppy will mount its more submissive brothers and sisters simply to display leadership and dominance. These behaviors will then carry on into adulthood, with the significance being power and control, not sex.

Diazm102 (talk) 14:42, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Agree - its a social behaviors not sexual - it is unlikely to be related to dominance but rather to social bonding. Will let next editor to come by see what they think I am having trouble finding a source.Moxy (talk) 14:54, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Not done: No specific change requested. --Michael Greiner 21:27, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 24 July 2013[edit]

Please add Oregon to the range of the Grey Wolf in America. My source is here: (talk) 21:42, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Done - Thank you for your contribution! Signalizing (talk) 18:16, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Are they Nocturnal, Crepuscular, or what?[edit]

I came across this page from the Diurnal page, which mentions in passing that domestic dogs are different from wolves in that dogs are typically diurnal to match humans. That page doesn't clarify how wolves behave in this area, so I came here. The time of day is not mentioned anywhere in the article except that at least one resting time is qualified to be diurnal. Obviously they are active for at least part of the day, judging by the pictures in the article. So I ask: for how many hours out of 24 do wolves typically sleep, and at what time(s) of the day/night? --Noren (talk) 18:47, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Wolves are definitely most active in the daytime. They are pack hunters, and this requires daylight as coordinated attacks are almost impossible at night, even for animals with good low light vision. Communal activity such as howling does take place in the evenings, but generally they do not do a lot of running around at night. Mediatech492 (talk) 19:57, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Subspecies section conflict with Red Wolf page?[edit]

The 'subspecies' section currently asserts that the Red Wolf is no longer considered a distinct species, citing a 2011 study. However, the Red Wolf page describes some significant controversy about that same study, and seems to assert that they *are* still considered a distinct species. Should that info be included here somehow? (talk) 14:53, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Tooth section needed[edit]

Wolf teeth, like those of other carnivorans, including fangs; carnassials (scissor-like teeth where human molars would be); and so on. Wolf teeth differ from those of dogs and other canids in the following ways, yadda yadda.

The carnassials of an Italian Wolf

Wolves in Nazi Germany[edit]

The article states "In 1934, Nazi Germany became the first state in modern history to place the wolf under protection, though the species was already extinct in Germany at this point." I don't have access to the source but you can find several sources which list wolves being shot in Eastern Prussia until the what is basically the end of World War II. This raises two concerns: 1. How can a species be called extinct if it can still be hunted? 2. How did the protection introduced in 1934 actually look like if it still allowed hunting? -- (talk) 18:59, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I want you to correct the picture of present and historical range![edit]

On the map the colour for scandinavia is "extinct". That is now (since a decade or two) wrong. When wolves was new reesablished and there was a debate about eradicating them again and it was said that there was no record of wolves attacing people there was a serious atack in Finland, we have had a few serious atacks on people in Sweden too. At present there are more than 200 wolves in Sweden and we have provisionally been prohibited from taking the stock down to 200, prohibited by the EU-court! In Norway there are something like 10-20 individs but they are haunted.Seniorsag (talk) 13:21, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Where, exactly? Chrisrus (talk) 14:19, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Please zoom in on the map. The population in Finland and the population at the Swedish/Norwegian border are marked green. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

The Wolf of Gubbio by Sassetta painted in 1444 tempera on panel in National Gallery London Missing[edit]

There is no reference to a famous painting by Sassetta which shows St. Francis of Assisi taming the wolves of Gubbio who had been preying on children. This would be a historical and colorful addition to the entry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

This article contains many links to sub-topic articles. To find what you're looking for, link Gray_wolf#In_culture to find the link to Wolves in folklore, religion and mythology, which has a section about the wolf in Christianity that summarizes and links to the article Wolf of Gubbio, both of which use the painting to illustrate. That article doesn't, but probably should have a section about the Wolf of Gubbio in art. Any info you can site about that painting should go there, including the fact that it was just stolen. Chrisrus (talk) 04:25, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Diagram/Map of Wolf Evolution[edit]

Heya, can some of you please come over to and give us some advice as to how to proceed? Thank you very much.--DLommes (talk) 12:29, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

wolves in Greece[edit]

Please correct the sentence about wolves in Greece: They are about 800 (136 of them leaving in Central Greece) and they are fully protected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

article too long.[edit]

There's no reason why this article should be 185,028 bytes. That's way longer than elephant and lion. Tiger is currently at GA review and that article was trimmed to as fairly manageable level. No reason why this article can't. LittleJerry (talk) 13:25, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Too long for what? Many articles have been spun off from this already. If it is shortened, what should be lost? This is all good information, shall we spin off even more articles? If you shorten it, use the deleted material to create sub-articles, but I don't think that's necessary. Chrisrus (talk) 15:02, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
Of course it's longer than the other aforementioned articles. Look at the start of the third paragraph on the intro: The gray wolf is one of the world's most well known and well researched animals, with probably more books written about it than any other wildlife species.. It even has a source from a reputed wolf biologist. Mariomassone (talk) 15:42, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
So because an expert says wolves are one of the world's most well researched, animals and may have more books written on it, that justifies 185,028 bytes compared to 134,083 for lion, 121,014 for polar bear, 120,104 for elephant and 103,569 for tiger?
The article is bloated, particularly in the "range and conservation". Why is it necessary to have detailed histories on their decline for NA, Europe and Asia each? Lions were also widespread and declined. LittleJerry (talk) 20:56, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
First, I don't see this article as you do. When I read this article, I don't see anything in particular that seems overly detailed in this context. To me, Wolf is longer than, say for example, lion because this English Wikipedia and so there's more out there to summarize here about wolves and lions.
However, if you want to shorten it you may: just take any material you remove and make a new article out of it. That's absolutely normal here, and elsewhere, so you can absolutely do that. When bloated the thing to do is the thing we've always done: spin off a sub-article. That's fine; I'm sure; so go ahead. It would not be good, however, would be just delete good stuff and trash it. There's no reason for that, so please don't do it. Chrisrus (talk) 06:23, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
IMO it is not too long. And the scope and diversity of it's locations, interactions with humans, place in culture etc. means that there is a lot more material than most other species. North8000 (talk) 10:23, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Dog isn't nearly as long. LittleJerry (talk) 12:41, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Haven't you considered that that is dog's problem, not Gray wolf's? Mariomassone (talk) 14:46, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

I'd agree the article should not be shortened through removing content.(I watch listed this article after doing a few edits). The article is well researched and written. No need to lose content or sources; better to split off content rather than lose it.(Littleolive oil (talk) 16:59, 9 April 2014 (UTC))

vukovi[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


Wolves are endangered, not "least concern", please fix.

Sorry, IUCN trumps all. Mariomassone (talk) 18:57, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Wolves may be endangered locally in some parts of the United States and some other countries, but are quite abundant in Canada, Russia, and Alaska particularly in northern regions. As a species they are doing quite well (thank you very much), and in no danger of extinction. Mediatech492 (talk) 15:53, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Broad sense and narrow sense: confusion within the article[edit]

A major problem with this article, as well as that for Dog and other related topics, is that in some places Gray Wolf is used synonymously with Canis lupus (which of course contains the dingo and domestic dog) and in other places Gray Wolf is contrasted the domestic dog, or said to be the ancestor of the domestic dog. I'm going to have a go at fixing this up, starting from an assumption that Canis lupus contains the domestic dog and dingo, but also explaining that the term Gray Wolf would not normally be used to refer to domestic dogs or dingos. I'll then move on to some of the other articles about canids. Ordinary Person (talk) 13:36, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it's confusing. The source we are using for the taxonomy, Mammal Species of the World, has extensive notes including caveats, which are not noted carefully enough. They say that Canis lupus should only be considered to include the "domestic dog" as a subspecies under the proviso that it be understood that we understand that familaris and dingo should be liked inter-taxonomically, if you will, under the term "domestic dog" meaning one subspecies. This is not their fault, taxonomy ends at the subspecies level so there's not way to indicate the sub-branches. Chrisrus (talk) 21:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Description of changes to the Subspecies section[edit]

I found the section difficult to read because it hopped back and forth in space (old world to North America) and in time (older studies, new studies, more older studies). To releive both I have made subsections for old world and NA wolves, and have followed a time sequence in each. Also I added information about subspecies taxonomy controversy over time for NA Pacific coastal wolves. Coastwise (talk) 05:34, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

More About Dogs[edit]

The article should mention more about dogs because they are the most widespread and numerous subspecies of gray wolf. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

the page contains links to the article on dogs — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:01, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, dogs are a subspecies of gray wolf. But, this article is quite long as is, and the subject of dogs is even more involved. Identifying dogs as a subspecies and linking to dogs is more than sufficient. I suggest that this talk entry be removed. Peter M. Eggers (talk) 08:26, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

No, talk page comments should never be removed unless it is a gross violation of the talk page guidelines, such as blatant trolling, libel or outright personal attacks. A good faith comment about the contents of the article and a corresponding response as to why it's not needed are perfectly acceptable talk page material and should not be removed. oknazevad (talk) 20:17, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Mentioning the Jungle Book in Fable and Literature[edit]

I think the jungle book should be mentioned in the section Fable and Literature. The stories about Mowgli feature a positive depiction of wolves, that predates Never Cry Wolf. The article claims the latter to be the first positive depiction of wolves in popular culture. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:22, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 17 September 2014[edit]

The picture illustrating the article has a caption locating the picture in Netherland. This seems suspicious in regard to the current and historical extent of the wolf population, The picture,_voor_de_natuur,_Saxifraga_-_Jan_Nijendijk.5097.jpg must have been taken somewhere else by the author. Can someone review it as I do not have access to edit. thanks (talk) 01:58, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure where you go to question the authenticity of a image. try the Wikipedia:Help desk and see if someone can direct you better. Cannolis (talk) 02:24, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

Evidence for hybridization section[edit]

I read the study you included Gene Flow between Wolf and Shepherd Dog Populations in Georgia and would argue that more scientific evidence supporting occurrences of hybridization such as this one would benefit this article. The example you used is only one study explaining recent examples of hybridization. Adding more evidence will only make this section stronger. In relevance to the Caucasus Region of Georgia you speak of in this article, there is a study conducted by Dr. Natia Kopaliani and Dr. David Tarkhnishvili from Ilia State University Department of Ecology that supports the claim of hybrid ancestry. I would also include some background information about the techniques utilized by scientists to study hybridization. In doing so, the reader becomes more knowledgeable of the overall topic at hand. I would argue that in order to understand hybridization that occurs between subspecies of Canis the techniques such as comparison of microsatellite markers and tracing of Mitochondrial DNA would better explain hybridization in its complexity.

Eberly.52 (talk) 01:19, 2 October 2014 (UTC) Gage Eberly

Assertion that the Gray wolf is the sole ancestor of the dog[edit]

The article lead currently asserts, "It is the sole ancestor of the dog, ...", citing in support: O. Thalmann et al., "Complete Mitochondrial Genomes of Ancient Canids Suggest a European Origin of Domestic Dogs", Science, November 14, 2013, 342(6160):871-4, DOI: 10.1126/science.1243650.

However, "Old Dogs Teach a New Lesson About Canine Origins". Science 342 (6160): 785–786. 15 November 2013. doi:10.1126/science.342.6160.785.  says that the leading theories suggest that dogs were domesticated either in the Middle East or in East Asia and that a new theory (the one cited in this article's lead) comes to a third conclusion: Dogs originated in Europe, from a now-extinct branch of gray wolves.

It appears to me that the present assertion is much too firm, giving undue weight to the source cited. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 06:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

I don't see how "Dogs originated in Europe, from a now-extinct branch of gray wolves" conflicts with "dogs are domesticated gray wolves". Extinct branches of gray wolves are still gray wolves. Chrisrus (talk) 04:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Only Thalmann didn't say that; Elizabeth Pennici interpreted that in her article. Thalmann stated that the research indicates that the ancestor of the dog was a now-extinct European wolf-like canid. At least that is Thalmann's university's understanding of his contribution: "It also became apparent that no extant wolf population is more closely related to modern dogs than the extinct specimens suggesting that the population of European wolves that ultimately gave rise to today’s dogs has gone extinct." Also his editor for that article: "The data suggest that an ancient, now extinct, central European population of wolves was directly ancestral to domestic dogs."

There is much debate regarding what the genetic markers are indicating, it is an exciting journey with fast-developing tools, and Wikipedia should be reflecting this debate rather than taking one side, which in itself is simply what some of the research indicated. William of Aragon (talk) 07:14, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Indeed, Thalman says "no extant wolf population" and "European wolves that ultimately gave rise to today's dogs". Wolf is often used as a synonym of grey wolf, unless other species like red or Ethiopian wolves are also mentioned. There's little indication that the animal mentioned is not of the Canis lupus species. Indeed, there don't appear to be any proposals over changing the dog's binomial name.Mariomassone (talk) 18:06, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

"Wolf is often used as a synonym of grey wolf" - That is your personal assumption. "There's little indication that the animal mentioned is not of the Canis lupus species". Another assumption. In my opinion, you should not be interpreting the findings for others based on your assumptions. There was never full agreement that Canis Familiaris should have been changed to Canis Lupus Familiaris in the first place, so there is certainly no reason for anyone to be wasting their time proposing a change now. William of Aragon (talk) 20:47, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Pray, elaborate on the idea that Canis familiaris is a valid binomial name. Mariomassone (talk) 21:44, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Dear Mario, I am not going to debate this matter further as it serves no purpose. I am currently compiling a restructure on the Origin of the Domestic Dog page, the DNA Evidence section, which is out of date and even has a comment logged against stating that it is out of date. I am only trying to help here, and I will let the science argue for itself. Thalmann was just one of the first on this topic - there are others more recent now. There is also a valid refutation that the Gray Wolf was involved at all. However, as I keep arguing here, genetic analysis is only an indication - none of this is conclusive unless we can travel back in time and give the dog's ancestor a pat.

We approach the close of 2014 and we need to keep up. When I am ready, there will need to be some minor amendment to the Gray Wolf page. You will have to decide whether you accept it or reject it. Either way, it won't make any difference to the published research and the ongoing debate. Regards William of Aragon (talk) 02:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello Mario. Thanks for tweaking the Wolf/Ancestry section with info I had combined it with that was taken from the Origin of the domestic dog page. I have now removed completely that information from the Origin of the domestic dog page and placed a link to the Wolf/Ancestry section from there. I think it appropriate that the editors on the Wolf page maintain this information, especially as new wolf evolution information comes to light. Regards, William of Aragon (talk) 21:46, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Grammar errors[edit]

"The gray wolf (Canis lupus[a]) is the name of a species of canid whose nominate[3] subspecies is the Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus),[4] also known as a the common wolf" should be changed to "The gray wolf (Canis lupus[a]) is the name of a species of canid whose nominate[3] subspecies is the Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus),[4] also known as the common wolf."

Lead rearranged[edit]

"Re-arranged lead. Also, timber wolf and western wolf are still in use...."- MM. My comment: only in North America - I am not sure what a global reader (e.g. in Poland or China) would make of these terms. We appear to be more focused on the names applied in the USA to a thing rather than initially defining what that thing was. (talk) 00:57, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 November 2014[edit]

Please replace "though its occasionally used for" with "though it's occasionally used for" Contraction of "it is" In uses of fur section. Cheers :) (talk) 08:31, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Stickee (talk) 09:22, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Gray wolf in northern and southern oregon[edit]

the grey wolf is also in southern oregon

Domestication - Megafuanal Wolf/Beringian Wolf[edit]

Hi Mario,

1. Regarding Bob Wayne's comment on the ancestor of the dog being a Megafuanal Wolf and then you linking that to the Beringian Wolf. Thalmann's findings were very specific about this - the ancient Alaskan (Beringian) Wolves were not related to the dog's ancestor clade, which appears to have originated in Western Europe. Therefore, I ask that you remove that link as it is not accurate.

There is probably not enough material to warrant a Megafuanal Wolf stub at this stage, however there exists an opportunity to add an additional paragraph under Ancestry. It could have links to the Beringian wolf and the Dire Wolf. The timing would be Late Pleistocene and the diet Pleistocene megafauna. Only Canis Lupus survived the Quaternary extinction event (plus the dog or its nearest ancestor, but I am happy to leave that one alone).

2. Additionally, under Ancestry, there is the following comment: "The earliest identifiable C. lupus remains date back to the Middle Pleistocene, and occur in Beringia.[1]" I do not have access to the cited document, however Wikipedia tells me that: "The Middle Pleistocene, more specifically referred to as the Ionian stage, is a period of geologic time from ca. 781 to 126 thousand years ago." This appears to be too far back.

Thalmann studied what was referred to as the three northerly permafrost wolves (Alaska, Eastern Beringia - Alaska 28,000, Alaska 21,000, and Alaska 20,800). Leonard's radiocarbon dating of 56 ancient gray wolf specimens from permafrost deposits in Alaska showed ages from 12,500 - 45,000 years of age.[2] I would be pleased if you or one of your "wolf" colleagues could review the older citation for accuracy. Beringian wolves in the Late Pleistocene places them in the time when we have evidence of the greatest wolf diversity.

I have now read it. The problem with quoting from Wang and Tedford is that they offer no citations against the text in their book, and raises the question of on what basis are they stating this. Quoting from research articles holds much more credibility. Regards, William Harris (talk) 20:50, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

3. Is Canis Lupus still the ancestor of the dog? Hard one to call, so we keep an open mind. Of interest, in 1999 Villa and Wayne both wrote papers rejecting that other canids were responsible for the origin of the dog and the nearest relative was the wolf. [3][4] Based on these indications, the domestic dog was reclassified in 2005 as Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of the gray wolf Canis lupus in a professional reference.[5] Based on the genetic evidence provided at that time, that was a prudent move. However, both Villa and Wayne were contributors to Freedman's paper this year.

We have not yet heard the last of Bob Wayne's carefully orchestrated global research, and I am sure he is working to a plan. From what I understand, Canis Lupus is the dog's sister, not its ancestor. Cross-breeding has resulted in near-exact match DNA. They are both descendants of a "large, wolf-like canid". Very large. For some reason, our ancestors, who were people not unlike you or I, became allied with the biggest, most powerful wolf we could find, for some reason or purpose. Should the dog be reclassified from Canis lupis familiaris? I do not believe so until we have the fossil of the common ancestor and we can be very sure about what we are saying. No doubt, universities, museums and private collections of fossils in Europe are now being revisited for what they might reveal. In the meantime, doubt remains.

Regards, William of Aragon (talk) 11:15, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Mario for the delinking, much appreciated. Of interest: Thalmann stated that the species classification of both the Altai dog and the Goyet 36,000 dog remains contentious. They both appear to be morphologically ancient dogs but based on our current genetic technology we see no relationship with neither modern nor ancient wolves - at this stage we are not sure where they came from! Goyet 36,000 was deposited in GenBank with accession number KF661079 and cataloged simply as Canis species. Regards, William of Aragon (talk) 19:48, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
My apologies Mario, I may have misled you - I have removed completely the reference to the Beringian Wolves from the Origin of the Domestic Dog page. I originally had them included because it indicates that there was much and unusual grey wolf genetic diversity in the past that required further analysis, therefore Thalmann included them in his study. I can see now how a reader could be led to believe that the Beringian wolves were the ancestor of the dog.
Of interest to you, a researcher by the name of Pei back in 1934 indicated that a small and now extinct sub-species of Canis Lupis, whose remains can be found across Eurasia, might have been the ancestor of the dog given their very similar morphologies. No need for "domesticating" a smaller skull and closer together teeth in comparison to a large wolf - this one already had those and more. (If this is correct and humans were later involved, their contribution was not to cross-breed a hard-to-control large wolf down to a dog-size, they cross-bred a small and easier-to-control small wolf up to a larger size.) The current genetic research is focused on comparisons with the larger extant Canis Lupus sub-species - they just might be looking in the wrong place! I will look into this further. Regards, William of Aragon (talk) 22:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wang, Xiao Ming & Tedford, R. H. (2008), Dogs: their fossil relatives and evolutionary history, Columbia University Press, p. 148
  2. ^ Jennifer A. Leonard, Carles Vilà, Kena Fox-Dobbs, Paul L. Koch, Robert K. Wayne, Blaire Van Valkenburgh - Megafaunal Extinctions and the Disappearance of a Specialized Wolf Ecomorph. Current Biology Volume 17, Issue 13, p1146–1150, 3 July 2007
  3. ^ Wayne, R K and Ostrander, E A (1999). Origin, genetic diversity, and genome structure of the domestic dog. BioEssays 21:247–257, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  {247-257}
  4. ^ Villa C, Maldonado J E, Wayne, R K (1999). Phylogenetic relationships, evolution, and genetic diversity of the domestic dog. The American Genetics Association 90:71-77.  {71-77}
  5. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 

Timber wolf[edit]

It means any North American grey wolf. It basically was invented to distinguish the animal from prairie wolves (which are coyotes). The term has stuck, whereas prairie wolf has not. Mariomassone (talk) 11:16, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Wolf's bite pressure[edit]

"The gray wolf's jaws can exert a crushing pressure of perhaps 10,340 kPa (1,500 psi) compared to 5,200 kPa (750 psi) for a German shepherd. This force is sufficient to break open most bones"

The above is a misleading adaption from Barry Lopez's book 'Of Wolves And Men'. It should read with the word "perhaps". "The animal can develop a crushing pressure of *perhaps* 1,500 lbs/in compared to 750 lbs/in for a German shepherd. This is enough to break open most of the bones the wolf encounters to get at the marrow."

1500 psi PERHAPS may be incorrect, it's not like Barry Lopez actually did any sort of bite pressure testing back in the early 70's. Barry was just speculating, nothing more. For some reason wolf orgs and internet sites like the wikipedia, have deleted the word *perhaps*, and are erroneously spreading this information on bite pressure as fact.

You can find the exact quote halfway down this page. (talk) 20:45, 30 December 2014 (UTC)Mike Eisenfeld 12/30/2014

Closest relative[edit]

Is it really correct to say gray wolf's closest relative is domestic dog? Domestic dog is a subspecies of gray wolf, it is like saying plains coyote is closest relative of coyote, or golden jackal's closest relative is European golden jackal. Editor abcdef (talk) 09:03, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

See the "Relationship to the dog" section of the article for clarification. Mariomassone (talk) 10:13, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes I saw it, it states dogs were most likely domesticated from European megafaunal wolf more than 15,000 years ago, why are European megafaunal wolves suddenly not Canis lupus? Editor abcdef (talk) 06:15, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

Location descriptions[edit]

As stated on the edit history page, "It is standard procedure in both zoology books and online animal resources to add location." This has never been an issue up until now apparently.Mariomassone (talk) 17:52, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

You suggested on the Coyote page that I take this issue to that article's Talk page, so I'm not sure why you are now raising the issue on a different talk page. I suggest that for the convenience of others, you reply to my posting where you initially asked me to raise the issue.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:19, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
@Mariomassone: If you're going to do this across articles I suggest you get consensus first. --NeilN talk to me 18:22, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Subspecies naming conventions[edit]

I'll get straight to the point: I think it would be appropriate to retitle all articles of gray wolf subspecies with the qualifier "gray", eg. Northwestern wolf > Northwestern gray wolf. Here's the reason: I believe their current names may mislead readers into thinking the animals are in the same category of the red wolf and Ethiopian wolf, which are distinct species. Adding the adjective "gray" is not only perfectly accurate, but it also removes any subspecies/species ambiguity. Mariomassone (talk) 13:05, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

That doesn't seem like common practice as far as I can tell, though. I can't find a source, for example, that calls an Indian wolf an "Indian gray wolf", nor can I find the Arabian wolf called any thing but that. So I'd have a problem adding the word "gray", as it is not accurate to what is actually used by reliable sources. I'd also mention that the taxonomy of the red wolf remains unsettled; see the recent USFWS reviews. Also, that the Ethiopian wolf's common naming is itself a somewhat contentious recent name. Historically, it was called a jackal, and it's local name in Amharic literally translates as "red jackal"; the push for the "Ethiopian wolf" name was based on a study claiming that it was more closely related to gray wolves than the golden jackal, though that is now known to be mistaken, as already shown in the cladogram here. So, in short, I oppose the proposal, as the common names of subspecies shouldn't be changed to add a word that is not actually, commonly part of the name. oknazevad (talk) 13:40, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes that's a good point, experts in these sources don't use terms such as "Indian Grey Wolf", but they don't have to. The don't need to mention the word "Gray" when they talk to other experts. We have a different audience. Sometimes our audience needs information omitted from scholarly articles to understand what the referent actually is or isn't. For example, consider the disambiguation parentheticals that we regularly add to article titles. Disambiguation parentheticals are added by us, not taken from the sources. We add them so that people will accurately understand the referent. For example, reading the titles "Ethiopian wolf" and "Egyptian wolf", readers might not be as informed as they would be of the fact that one is a subspecies of C. lupus and the other is another canid species. So we can see the merit to the proposal but understand the objection. Chrisrus (talk) 20:35, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

American English[edit]

Why does this article use American English? Canada has more grey wolves than US, yet Canadian English is not used. Editor abcdef (talk) 10:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Because it was started in American English. See WP:RETAIN. Yes, Canada probably has more wolves (though considering Alaska, I'm not 100% sure), but either way there are no strong national ties for any wildlife. the initial choice was arbitrary and has no reason to change. oknazevad (talk) 14:01, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 11 March 2015[edit]

Following the unwarranted statement that only tigers pose a "serious threat" to gray wolves. Liz Bradley, a wolf biologist with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, has documented repeated instances of mountain lion predation on the wolves in her study, in the Bitterroot region of Montana. The wolves are typically killed with a single bite, which punctures the brain-case. [1]

Noahnoe (talk) 17:11, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Is this new text you want to add to the article? If so, where do you want it added? If not, what is it replacing? - UtherSRG (talk) 18:30, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
And what is the reliable source you are quoting from? - Arjayay (talk) 18:40, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
OK I've reformatted your request so your reference shows. - Arjayay (talk) 18:44, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
  1. ^ National Geographic magazine, Dec 4, 2013
Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 21:47, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Only several incidences are recorded, does not count as serious predation, and cougars actually avoid wolf territory, tigers, on the other hand, will almost clear an area of wolves:

The bit about the Romanian legal status of hunting needs citation.[edit]

Especially that regarding the lack of enforcement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Problematic Term "African wolf"[edit]

Is the referent of Gray_wolf#Africa the same as that of Egyptian jackal? Chrisrus (talk) 05:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

No, the Grey Wolves of Africa and the African Wolf (aka Egyptian Jackal) are different species. There is currently a dispute in taxonomy as to whether the Egyptian Jackal/African Wolf is closer related to wolves or jackals, but currently they are officially classified as a subspecies of jackals, and not wolves. Mediatech492 (talk) 13:39, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so then why are we using the same photo for both that article and this subsection? Which of the two is the animal in that picture? Chrisrus (talk) 20:22, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Mediatech, what do you mean by they are currently classified as subspecies of jackals, does "currently" mean the 1800s to you? Also 2005 is the not the most current date either. And you mentioned there is currently a dispute whether Egyptian jackals are closer to wolves or jackals, I want to see evidence that it is actually disputed currently. Editor abcdef (talk) 21:24, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The information you're asking for is all in the Egyptian jackal article. Mediatech492 (talk) 23:13, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
All it stated was that it was considered a golden jackal in 2005, and the reference's reference is in the 1800s, I'm not aware of any disputes or denials from the scientific community in the 2010s. Editor abcdef (talk) 05:45, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Obviously you missed the part where it mentions the "mtDNA" (Mitochondrial DNA) Studies. They did not know about the existence of Mitochondrial DNA in the 1800's. It is this very recently derived DNA evidence that has led to the current taxonomic dispute. Mediatech492 (talk) 13:44, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Ok, so which is this photo: File:Lupaster.png?

The journal states that it is Canis lupus. Editor abcdef (talk) 02:48, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Ok, this photo is illustrating Egyptian Jackal Canis aureus (or lupus) lupaster and Gray_wolf#Africa because both are about the same thing. Is that right? Chrisrus (talk) 15:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that this article and the golden jackal article directly contradicts the Egyptian jackal and subspecies of Canis lupus, both the former articles stated that lupaster is a subspecies of Canis lupus, yet in Egyptian jackal the species is Canis aureus (though "disputed") and the subspecies article excluded lupaster. Editor abcdef (talk) 23:40, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Can we find a way to get all these articles to agree? Chrisrus (talk) 00:33, 26 April 2015 (UTC)