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)

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)