Into the Child: 40 Weeks in the Gestational Wilderness

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Although the fear of wolves is pervasive in many human societies, the majority of recorded attacks on people have been attributed to animals suffering from rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and killed people, mainly children, but this is rare, as wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans from hunters and shepherds.

The Latin lupus is a Sabine loanword. The species Canis lupus was named by the Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in The 38 subspecies of Canis lupus are listed under the biological common name of "wolf" in Mammal Species of the World 3rd edition that was published in The domestic dog is listed as a subspecies, and the dingo , together with the New Guinea singing dog , form another subspecies.

The age is not agreed but could date 1 million YBP. Considerable morphological diversity existed among grey wolves by the Late Pleistocene. These are regarded as having been more cranio-dentally robust than modern grey wolves, often with a shortened rostrum , the pronounced development of the temporalis muscle, and robust premolars. It is proposed that these features were specialized adaptations for the processing of carcass and bone associated with the hunting and scavenging of Pleistocene megafauna.

Compared with modern wolves, some Pleistocene wolves showed an increase in tooth breakage that is similar to that seen in the extinct dire wolf. This suggests that these either often processed carcasses, or that they competed with other carnivores and needed to quickly consume their prey. The frequency and location of tooth fractures found in these wolves, compared with the modern spotted hyena , indicates that these wolves were habitual bone crackers. This continuous wolf presence contrasts with genomic studies, which suggest that all modern wolves and dogs descend from a common ancestral wolf population [15] [16] [17] that existed as recently as 20, years ago.

This implies that the original wolf populations were out-competed by a new type of wolf which replaced them. The wolf is a highly adaptable species that is able to exist in a range of environments and which possesses a wide distribution across the Holarctic. Studies of modern wolves have identified distinct sub-populations that live in close proximity to each other.

The wolf population in Europe is divided along a north-south axis and forms five major clusters. Three clusters occupy Italy, the Dinaric- Balkans , and the Carpathians. Another two clusters occupy north-central Europe and the Ukrainian steppe. The Italian wolf consisted of an isolated population with low genetic diversity. Wolves from Finland, Latvia, Belarus, Poland and Russia form the north-central Europe cluster, with wolves from the Carpathians cluster coming from a mixture of wolves from the north-central cluster and the Dinaric-Balkans cluster. The wolves from the Carpathians are more similar to the wolves from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe than they are to wolves from north-central Europe.

These clusters may be the result of their expansions from glacial refugia , an adaptation to local environments, or landscape fragmentation and the killing of wolves in some areas by humans. The wolf population in North American forms six ecotypes — genetically and ecologically distinct populations separated from other populations by their different type of habitat.

Prenatal development

The studies found that precipitation and mean diurnal temperature range were the most influential variables on the formation of these ecotypes. The wolf-like canids are a group of large carnivores that are closely related because their chromosomes number 78, [28] [29] [30] and therefore they can potentially interbreed.

There is evidence of gene flow between golden jackals and Middle Eastern wolves, less so with European and Asian wolves, and least with North American wolves. This indicates that the golden jackal ancestry found in North American wolves may have occurred before the divergence of the Eurasian and North American wolves.

The common ancestor of the coyote and the wolf has admixed with a ghost population of an extinct unidentified canid. This canid is genetically close to the dhole and has evolved after the divergence of the African hunting dog from the other canid species. The basal position of the coyote compared to the wolf is proposed to be due to the coyote retaining more of the mitochondrial genome of this unidentified canid.

In more recent times some male Italian wolves originated from dog ancestry, which indicates that female wolves will breed with male dogs in the wild. The wolf is the largest member of the Canidae family. A wolf's foot is large and flexible, which allows it to tread over a wide range of terrain. Its legs are long and they can cover 76km in 12 hours. The wolf usually carries its head at the same level as the back, raising it only when alert.

The wolf has very dense and fluffy winter fur, with short underfur and long, coarse guard hairs. Especially long hairs are on the shoulders, and almost form a crest on the upper part of the neck. The hairs on the cheeks are elongated and form tufts. The ears are covered in short hairs, which strongly project from the fur. Short, elastic and closely adjacent hairs are present on the limbs from the elbows down to the calcaneal tendons.

Wolf fur provides better insulation than dog fur, and does not collect ice when warm breath is condensed against it. Older wolves generally have more white hairs in the tip of the tail, along the nose and on the forehead. The winter fur is retained longest by lactating females, although with some hair loss around their nipples. Coat color ranges from almost pure white through various shades of blond, cream and ochre to grays, browns and blacks, [55] with variation in fur color tending to increase in higher latitudes. Originally, wolves occurred across Eurasia above the 12th parallel north and across North America above the 15th parallel north.

However, deliberate human persecution has reduced the wolf's range to about one-third of what it once was because of livestock predation and fear of attacks on humans. The wolf is now extirpated made locally extinct in much of Western Europe , in Mexico and much of the United States. It lives in forests , inland wetlands , shrublands , grasslands including arctic tundra , pastures , deserts , and rocky peaks on mountains. The warmth of the footpads is regulated independently of the rest of the body, and is maintained at just above tissue-freezing point where the pads come in contact with ice and snow.

Like all land mammals that are pack hunters , the wolf predominantly feeds on herbivorous mammals that have a body mass similar to that of the combined mass of the pack members. The variation in diet between wolves living on different continents is based on the different varieties of ungulate species and of smaller and domestic prey that are available. In North America, the wolf's diet is dominated by wild large ungulates and medium-sized mammals.

In Asia and Europe, their diet is dominated by wild medium sized ungulates and domestic species. The wolf depends on wild ungulates, and if these are not readily available, as in Asia, the wolf is more reliant on domestic species. Although wolves primarily feed on medium to large sized ungulates, they are not fussy eaters. Smaller sized animals that may supplement the diet of wolves include rodents , hares , insectivores and smaller carnivores. They frequently eat waterfowl and their eggs.

When such foods are insufficient, they prey on lizards , snakes , frogs , and large insects as available.

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In Europe, wolves eat apples, pears, figs, mellons, berries and cherries. In North America, wolves eat blueberries and raspberries. Wolves also eat grass, which may provide some vitamins.

Life history

In times of scarcity, wolves will readily eat carrion. The wolf is a social animal, whose basic social unit consists of a mated pair accompanied by their adult offspring. The average pack consists of a family of five to eleven wolves two adults, three to six juveniles, and one to three yearlings , [75] or sometimes two or three such families, [53] with exceptionally large packs consisting of up to forty-two wolves being known.

In the rare cases where other wolves are adopted, the adoptee is almost invariably an immature animal of one to three years of age and unlikely to compete for breeding rights with the mated pair. In some cases, a lone wolf is adopted into a pack to replace a deceased breeder. Wolves are highly territorial and generally establish territories far larger than they require in order to survive, which assures a steady supply of prey. Territory size depends largely on the amount of prey available and the age of the pack's pups, tending to increase in size in areas with low prey populations, [81] or when the pups reach the age of six months when they have the same nutritional needs as adults.

Wolves advertise their territories to other packs through howling and scent marking. Scent marking involves urine, feces, and anal gland scents. Scent marking is more effective at advertising territory than howling, and is often used in combination with scratch marks. Wolves increase their rate of scent marking when they encounter the scent marks of wolves from other packs. Lone wolves will rarely scent mark, but newly bonded pairs will scent mark the most.

Such markers can last for two to three weeks, [82] and are typically placed near rocks, boulders, trees, or the skeletons of large animals. Wolves communicate to anticipate what their packmates or other wolves might do next. The foundation of a wolf pack is the mated pair.

Known uncommon variations include a mature male and two mature females, a mature male and his mate along with his yearling son from a previous mating, and a mature female with a new mate and his younger brother. One unusual pack from Yellowstone was formed by twelve dispersers from four other packs. Packs may include offspring from up to four years of breeding, with one pack consisting of forty-two wolves.

Should one of the pair die, another mate is quickly found. Males form a majority in the wolf pack, with unpaired females being rare. This pair may later move into an area adjacent to, or overlapping with, the pack territory. Some wolves may leave the pack but remain in the pack's territory, waiting for one of the breeding parents to perish before they can breed.

Most foreign mature wolves are killed by the pack unless the pack needs to replace a breeder. Sometimes a foreign wolf will be adopted and provided with alloparental care by a pack that already has a breeding pair, and this usually occurs between the months of February and May. These adopted wolves are usually male and between the age of one to three years old. Adoptee males may mate with an available pack female to then form their own pack. Wolves become mature at the age of two years, and sexually mature from the age of three years. Females are capable of producing pups every year, with one litter annually being the average.

Unlike the coyote, the wolf never reaches menopause. Adults disperse first, then yearlings, then juveniles. The pack later reunites but stays away from the breeding pair. Estrus lasts for two weeks. Dens are usually constructed for pups during the summer period. When building dens, females make use of natural shelters such as fissures in rocks, cliffs overhanging riverbanks and holes thickly covered by vegetation. Sometimes, the den is the appropriated burrow of smaller animals such as foxes, badgers or marmots.

An appropriated den is often widened and partly remade. On rare occasions, female wolves dig burrows themselves, which are usually small and short with one to three openings. Resting places, play areas for the pups and food remains are commonly found around wolf dens.

The odour of urine and rotting food emanating from the denning area often attracts scavenging birds such as magpies and ravens. As there are few convenient places for burrows, wolf dens are usually occupied by animals of the same family. Though they mostly avoid areas within human sight, wolves have been known to nest near domiciles , paved roads and railways. The gestation period lasts 62—75 days with pups usually being born in the spring months, or early summer in very cold places such as on the tundra. Young females give birth with young, and older females from young and up to 14 young.

Their mortality rate is percent. The milk canines erupt after one month. Pups first leave the den after three weeks. Mother wolves do not leave the den for the first few weeks, relying on the fathers to provide food for them and their young. Pups begin to eat solid food at the age of three to four weeks.

Pups have a fast growth rate during their first four months of life: during this period, a pup's weight can increase nearly 30 times. Actual fights to establish hierarchy usually occur at five to eight weeks of age. This is in contrast to young coyotes and foxes, which may begin fighting even before the onset of play behavior. Wolves move around their territory when foraging using the same trails for extended periods.

After snowfalls, the wolves find their old trails and continue using them.

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The trails follow the banks of rivers, the shorelines of lakes, through ravines overgrown with shrubs or through plantations, and following roads and human paths. During the winter a pack will commence hunting in the twilight of early evening and will hunt all night, travelling tens of kilometres. Sometimes hunting for wild ungulates occurs during the day. During the summer, wolves generally tend to hunt individually, ambushing their prey and rarely giving pursuit. Although social animals, single wolves or mated pairs typically have higher success rates in hunting than do large packs, with single wolves having occasionally been observed to kill large prey such as moose , bison and muskoxen unaided.

Because of this, it rarely manages to capture hidden hares or birds, though it can easily follow fresh tracks. The actual killing method varies according to prey species. With large prey, mature wolves usually avoid attacking frontally, instead focusing on the rear and sides of the animal. Large prey, such as moose, is killed by biting large chunks of flesh from the soft perineum area, causing massive blood loss. With small, mouse -like prey, wolves leap in a high arc and immobilize it with their forepaws. Such instances are common in domestic animals, but rare in the wild.

In the wild, surplus killing primarily occurs during late winter or spring, when snow is unusually deep thus impeding the movements of prey [] or during the denning period, when wolves require a ready supply of meat when denbound. Once prey is brought down, wolves begin to feed excitedly, ripping and tugging at the carcass in all directions, and bolting down large chunks of it. When food is scarce, this is done at the expense of other family members, especially non-pups. Once the breeding pair has finished eating, the rest of the family tears off pieces of the carcass and transport them to secluded areas where they can eat in peace.

Wolves typically commence feeding by consuming the larger internal organs of their prey, such as the heart , liver , lungs and stomach lining. The kidneys and spleen are eaten once they are exposed, followed by the muscles. Wolves typically dominate other canid species in areas where they both occur.

In North America, incidents of wolves killing coyotes are common, particularly in winter, when coyotes feed on wolf kills. Wolves may attack coyote den sites, digging out and killing their pups, though rarely eating them. There are no records of coyotes killing wolves, though coyotes may chase wolves if they outnumber them. Brown bears typically dominate wolf packs in disputes over carcasses, while wolf packs mostly prevail against bears when defending their den sites. Both species kill each other's young.

Wolves eat the brown bears they kill, while brown bears seem to only eat young wolves. Wolves have been recorded on numerous occasions to actively seek out black bears in their dens and kill them without eating them. Unlike brown bears, black bears frequently lose against wolves in disputes over kills. Wolverines escape from wolves in caves or up trees. Wolves may interact and compete with various felids , such as the Eurasian lynx , which may feed on smaller prey were wolves are present [] and may be suppressed by large wolf populations. Wolves and cougars typically avoid encountering each other by hunting on different elevations and different prey.

In winter, however, when snow accumulation forces their prey into valleys, interactions between the two species become more likely. Wolves in packs usually dominate cougars and can steal their kills even with some documented cases of cougars being killed , [] [] while one-to-one encounters tend to be dominated by the cat, and there are several documented cases of cougars killing wolves including adult male specimens.

Only human depleting of tiger numbers appears to protect wolves from competitive exclusion from them. Proven cases of tigers killing wolves are rare and attacks appear to be competitive rather than predatory in nature, with at least four proven records of tigers killing wolves. Wolves may encounter striped hyenas in Israel, Central Asia and India, usually in disputes over carcasses. Striped hyenas feed extensively on wolf-killed carcasses in areas where the two species interact. One-on-one, hyenas dominate wolves, and may prey on them, [] but wolf packs can drive off single or outnumbered hyenas.

In near Eilat in southern Israel, researchers discovered the tracks of three wolves and one striped hyena which indicated that they were moving across the landscape together. In near the same location, three researchers sighted a pack consisting of 4 adult and 3 sub-adult wolves and one striped hyena.


The hyena was moving in the middle of the pack and not following behind it. The wolves could benefit from the hyena's superior sense of smell, to locate and dig out tortoises, to crack open large bones, and to tear open discarded food containers such as tin cans. According to a press release by the US Department of Agriculture in , the Custer Wolf moved across the landscape with two coyotes far out on his flanks which gave him warning of ambush or danger.

They fed from his kills, however he would never allow them to approach him. Viral diseases carried by wolves include rabies , canine distemper , canine parvovirus , infectious canine hepatitis , papillomatosis , canine coronavirus , [] and foot and mouth disease. Infected wolves do not show any fear of humans, with most documented wolf attacks on people being attributed to rabid animals. Although canine distemper is lethal in dogs, it has not been recorded to kill wolves, except in Canada and Alaska.

The canine parvovirus, which causes death by dehydration , electrolyte imbalance , and endotoxic shock or sepsis , is largely survivable in wolves, but can be lethal to pups. Wolves may catch infectious canine hepatitis from dogs, though there are no records of wolves dying from it. Papillomatosis has been recorded only once in wolves, and likely does not cause serious illness or death, though it may alter feeding behaviors.

The canine coronavirus has been recorded in Alaskan wolves, with infections being most prevalent in winter months. Bacterial diseases carried by wolves include brucellosis , lyme disease , leptospirosis , tularemia , bovine tuberculosis , [] listeriosis and anthrax.

While adult wolves tend not to show any clinical signs, it can severely weaken the pups of infected females. Although lyme disease can debilitate individual wolves, it does not appear to have any significant effect on wolf populations. Leptospirosis can be contracted through contact with infected prey or urine, and can cause fever , anorexia , vomiting, anemia , hematuria , icterus , and death.

Wolves living near farms are more vulnerable to the disease than those living in the wilderness, probably because of prolonged contact with infected domestic animal waste.

Wolves may catch tularemia from lagomorph prey, though its effect on wolves is unknown. Although bovine tuberculosis is not considered a major threat to wolves, it has been recorded to have once killed two wolf pups in Canada. Wolves carry ectoparasites and endoparasites , with wolves in the former Soviet Union having been recorded to carry at least 50 species. In areas where wolves inhabit pastoral areas, the parasites can be spread to livestock. Wolves are often infested with a variety of arthropod exoparasites, including fleas , ticks , lice , and mites.

The most harmful to wolves, particularly pups, is the mange mite Sarcoptes scabiei , [] though they rarely develop full-blown mange , unlike foxes. Ticks of the genus Ixodes can infect wolves with Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Other ectoparasites include chewing lice, sucking lice and the fleas Pulex irritans and Ctenocephalides canis. Endoparasites known to infect wolves include protozoans and helminths flukes , tapeworms , roundworms and thorny-headed worms. Of 30, protozoan species, only a few have been recorded to infect wolves: Isospora , Toxoplasma , Sarcocystis , Babesia , and Giardia.

Upon reaching maturity, Alaria migrates to the wolf's intestine, but harms it little. Metorchis conjunctus , which enters wolves through eating fish, infects the wolf's liver or gall bladder, causing liver disease , inflammation of the pancreas, and emaciation. Most other fluke species reside in the wolf's intestine, though Paragonimus westermani lives in the lungs.

Tapeworms are commonly found in wolves, as their primary hosts are ungulates, small mammals, and fish, which wolves feed upon.

Tapeworms generally cause little harm in wolves, though this depends on the number and size of the parasites, and the sensitivity of the host. Symptoms often include constipation , toxic and allergic reactions , irritation of the intestinal mucosa , and malnutrition. Infections by the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus in ungulate populations tend to increase in areas with high wolf densities, as wolves can shed Echinoccocus eggs in their feces onto grazing areas.

Wolves can carry over 30 roundworm species, though most roundworm infections appear benign, depending on the number of worms and the age of the host. Ancylostoma caninum attaches itself on the intestinal wall to feed on the host's blood, and can cause hyperchromic anemia , emaciation, diarrhea , and possibly death. Toxocara canis , a hookworm known to infect wolf pups in utero, can cause intestinal irritation, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Wolves can tolerate low levels of Dirofilaria immitis for many years without showing any ill effects, though high levels can kill wolves through cardiac enlargement and congestive hepatopathy. Wolves probably become infected with Trichinella spiralis by eating infected ungulates. Although T. Thorny-headed worms rarely infect wolves, though three species have been identified in Russian wolves: Nicolla skrjabini , Macrocantorhynchus catulinus , and Moniliformis moniliformis. The global grey wolf population was estimated to be , in the s.

Competition with humans for livestock and game species, concerns over the danger posed by wolves to people, and habitat fragmentation pose a continued threat to the wolf. First Nations people can hunt then without restrictions but others have to acquire licenses for hunting and trapping seasons. As many as 4, wolves may be harvested in Canada each year. In Alaska, the wolf population numbers 6,—7, individuals and regulated hunting and trapping during seasons is permitted.

By then, the only surviving populations where in Minnesota, which numbered in the several hundreds, and on Michigan's Isle Royale. With federal protection, the wolf population in Minnesota would grow to has much as 3, individuals by the mid s and recolonized Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan , whose populations number in the hundreds. In , the federal government begin to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone , were they were absent since the s, and central Idaho as part of a Rocky Mountain recovery plan.

This extreme measure prevented the their extinction. Five wild Mexican wolves four males and one pregnant female were captured alive in Mexico from to and used to start a captive breeding program. From this program, captive-bred Mexican wolves were released into recovery areas in Arizona and New Mexico beginning in in order to assist the animals' recolonization of their former historical range. As of , there are Mexican wolves living wild and in captive breeding programs. Europe, excluding Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, has 17, wolves in over 28 countries. The decline of the traditional pastoral and rural economics seems to have stopped the need to exterminate the wolf in parts of Europe.

In the former Soviet Union , wolf populations have retained much of their historical range despite Soviet-era large scale extermination campaigns. Their numbers range from 1, in Georgia, to 20, in Kazakhstan and up to 45, in Russia. Most of the populations in this region appear to be stable.

These wolves have moved into neighboring countries. Saudi Arabia has large and mostly undistributed areas of desert and — wolves inhabit the Arabian Peninsula. In South Asia, the northern regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan are important strongholds for the wolf. The wolf was given protected status in India in The wolf is a common motif in the mythologies and cosmologies of peoples throughout its historical range.

The Ancient Greeks associated wolves with Apollo , the god of light and order. Both the Pawnee and Blackfoot called the Milky Way the "wolf trail". The concept of people turning into wolves has been present in many cultures. One Greek myth tells of Lycaon of Arcadia being transformed into a wolf by Zeus as punishment for his evil deeds. Aesop featured wolves in several of his fables , playing on the concerns of Ancient Greece's settled, sheep-herding world. His most famous is the fable of " The Boy Who Cried Wolf ", which is directed at those who knowingly raise false alarms, and from which the idiomatic phrase " to cry wolf " is derived.

Some of his other fables concentrate on maintaining the trust between shepherds and guard dogs in their vigilance against wolves, as well as anxieties over the close relationship between wolves and dogs. Although Aesop used wolves to warn, criticize and moralize about human behavior, his portrayals added to the wolf's image as a deceitful and dangerous animal. In the New Testament , Jesus is quoted to have used wolves as illustrations to the dangers his followers, whom he represents as sheep, would face should they follow him Matthew , Matthew , Acts Although portrayed as loyal, honest and moral, Isengrim is forever the victim of Reynard's wit and cruelty, often dying at the end of each story.

The tale of Little Red Riding Hood , first written in by Charles Perrault , is largely considered to have had more influence than any other source of literature in forging the wolf's negative reputation in the western world. The wolf in this story is portrayed as a sexual predator , capable of imitating human speech. Tolstoy's War and Peace and Chekhov's Peasants both feature scenes in which wolves are hunted with hounds and Borzois. The wolf's motto of "For the strength of the Wolf is the Pack, and the strength of the Pack is the Wolf" has also been confirmed in field studies, which show that success rates in hunting and repelling intruders are dependent on pack size and the number of adult males or old wolves.

Although credited with having changed popular perceptions on wolves by portraying them as loving, cooperative and noble, it has been criticized for its idealization of wolves and its factual inaccuracies. The wolf is a frequent charge in English armory. It is illustrated as a supporter on the shields of Lord Welby , Rendel , and Viscount Wolseley , and can be found on the coat of arms of Lovett and the vast majority of the Wilsons and Lows.

The demi-wolf is a common crest , appearing in the arms and crests of members of many families, including that of the Wolfes , whose crest depicts a demi-wolf holding a crown in its paws, in reference to the assistance the family gave to Charles II during the battle of Worcester. Wolf heads are common in Scottish heraldry , particularly in the coats of Clan Robertson and Skene. The wolf is the most common animal in Spanish heraldry , and is often depicted as carrying a lamb in its mouth, or across its back. It is the unofficial symbol of the spetsnaz , and serves as the logo of the Turkish Grey Wolves.

Human presence appears to stress wolves, as seen by increased cortisol levels in instances such as snowmobiling near their territory. Livestock depredation has been one of the primary reasons for hunting wolves, and can pose a severe problem for wolf conservation: as well as causing economic losses, the threat of wolf predation causes great stress on livestock producers, and no foolproof solution of preventing such attacks short of exterminating wolves has been found. Being the most abundant carnivores, free-ranging dogs have the greatest potential to compete with wolves.

A review of the studies in the competitive effects of dogs on sympatric carnivores did not mention any research on competition between dogs and wolves. Wolves kill dogs on occasion, with some wolf populations relying on dogs as an important food source. In Croatia, wolves kill more dogs than sheep, and wolves in Russia appear to limit stray dog populations.

Wolves may display unusually bold behavior when attacking dogs accompanied by people, sometimes ignoring nearby humans. Large hunting dogs such as Swedish elkhounds are more likely to survive wolf attacks because of their better ability to defend themselves. Although the numbers of dogs killed each year are relatively low, it induces a fear of wolves entering villages and farmyards to take dogs. In many cultures, there are strong social and emotional bonds between humans and their dogs that can be seen as family members or working team members.

The loss of a dog can lead to strong emotional responses with demands for more liberal wolf hunting regulations. Dogs that are employed to guard sheep help to mitigate human—wolf conflicts, and are often proposed as one of the non-lethal tools in the conservation of wolves. The fear of wolves has been pervasive in many societies, though humans are not part of the wolf's natural prey.

Predatory attacks attacks by wolves treating humans as food may be preceded by a long period of habituation , in which wolves gradually lose their fear of humans. The victims are repeatedly bitten on the head and face, and are then dragged off and consumed, unless the wolves are driven off.

Such attacks typically occur only locally, and do not stop until the wolves involved are eliminated. Predatory attacks can occur at any time of the year, with a peak in the June—August period, when the chances of people entering forested areas for livestock grazing or berry and mushroom picking increase, [] though cases of non-rabid wolf attacks in winter have been recorded in Belarus , Kirov and Irkutsk oblasts, Karelia and Ukraine. Cases of rabid wolves are low when compared to other species, as wolves do not serve as primary reservoirs of the disease, but can be infected by animals such as dogs, jackals and foxes.

Incidents of rabies in wolves are very rare in North America, though numerous in the eastern Mediterranean , Middle East and Central Asia. Wolves apparently develop the "furious" phase of rabies to a very high degree which, coupled with their size and strength, makes rabid wolves perhaps the most dangerous of rabid animals, [] with bites from rabid wolves being 15 times more dangerous than those of rabid dogs. Most rabid wolf attacks occur in the spring and autumn periods. Unlike with predatory attacks, the victims of rabid wolves are not eaten, and the attacks generally only occur on a single day.

The victims are chosen at random, though the majority of cases involve adult men. During the 50 years to , there were eight fatal attacks in Europe and Russia, and more than in southern Asia. Theodore Roosevelt stated that wolves are difficult to hunt because of their elusiveness, sharp senses, high endurance, and ability to quickly incapacitate and kill hunting dogs. This method relies heavily on the wolf's fear of human scents, though it can lose its effectiveness when wolves become accustomed to the smell.

Some hunters are able to lure wolves by imitating their calls. In Kazakhstan and Mongolia , wolves are traditionally hunted with eagles and falcons, though this practice is declining, as experienced falconers are becoming few in number. Shooting wolves from aircraft is highly effective, due to increased visibility and direct lines of fire, [] but is controversial. Wolves are sometimes kept as exotic pets and, in some rarer occasions, as working animals. Although closely related to domesticated dogs , wolves do not show the same tractability as dogs in living alongside humans, and generally, much more work is required in order to obtain the same amount of reliability.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the wolf, Canis lupus, and its subspecies. For other species of wolf and other uses, see Wolf disambiguation. For other uses, see Grey Wolf disambiguation. Species of mammal canine. Temporal range: Middle Pleistocene — present ,—0 years BP [1]. Conservation status. Linnaeus , [3]. Further information: Wolf name. Main article: Evolution of the wolf.

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See also: Origin of the domestic dog. Main article: Canid hybrid. Main article: Wolf distribution. See also: Dog behavior. See also: Attachment behaviour in wolves. See also: Canine reproduction. Play media. Further information: List of gray wolf populations by country. Further information: List of fictional wolves.

Main article: Wolves in folklore, religion and mythology. Main article: Wolves in heraldry. See also: Hexham wolf. Main articles: Wolf attacks on humans and List of wolf attacks. Main articles: Wolf hunting and Wolf hunting with dogs. See also: Human uses of hunted wolves. Main article: Wolves as pets and working animals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. Tomus I in Latin 10 ed. In Smith, A. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press.

Zoological Research. In Carbyn, L. Ecology and conservation of wolves in a changing world. Edmonton: Canadian Circumpolar Institute. Online Etymology Dictionary. In Wilson, D. Johns Hopkins University Press. In Lindqvist, C. Population Genomics. Shave those legs with caution and a lot of nick-protecting shaving gel.

Chances are, your balance is off and you probably can't see beyond your belly. Make sure the razor you use is new so you'll be less likely to draw blood. If possible, enlist a willing friend to do it for you, or sit on the edge of your bed and try an electric razor. Or head down to the salon and have a wax if pregnancy hasn't made your skin too sensitive — itchy bumps that you can't reach to scratch are the last thing you need right now. A definite no-no: shaving in the shower, where a slipup could be serious.

Defy gravity and give your body a break from all the extra weight by floating in a warm bath or pool. Avoid the hot tub, though. You can get back in soon enough! Waiting in line? Or just waiting for your baby to finally arrive? Do a mini workout. Turn from side to side, slowly twisting at the waist, letting your arms swing freely — and being careful not to whack anyone.

You can also clench your butt and hold for a count of two, then release. Try doing 15 or 20 arm swings and butt clenches — it'll make time pass and tone your muscles, too. Baby on the brain? It's hard to think of anything else when your due date has come and gone — a week ago. But you know what they say about a watched pot. So in an effort to keep your mind off your tardy baby and to keep you busy, try to have something planned every day — and watching the clock tick doesn't count! Get out of the house: Take a walk, which might even help get your contractions going, or get a manicure or a haircut.

Besides, you may not have the time once baby's on board. Or see a movie or two — your last for a while — and hit the mall for those last-minute baby needs. Other suggestions: Have lunch with your friends, do a thorough shopping so you'll come home to a full fridge and freezer, and make sure you're stocked up on ready-made meals. Oh, and tell your friends and family to stop calling every day: Remind them that no news is…no news.

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Of course you're as excited and nervous as can be, but it's important to try to relax as much as you can during the first phase of labor — you'll need to save your strength for later on. If it's nighttime, do what you can to get some sleep; when your contractions become more insistent, you won't be able to.

If it's daytime, keep yourself busy. Cook a few more dishes to add to your freezer stash, fold some baby clothes and do the rest of the laundry so you can come home to an empty hamper. It'll fill up again soon enough! You can also try taking a walk or a waddle , which might even kick up the contractions a notch. Just don't stray too far from home, and don't go anywhere without a cell phone.

Eat a light snack if you're hungry, but avoid fatty foods and don't overeat. Don't worry about obsessively timing contractions at this point — you'll just get bored and frustrated — but do check periodically to see whether they're getting closer together. Lastly, make sure you use the bathroom often — a full bladder can get in the way of labor. Most women, and their nervous coaches, will head to the hospital as the first phase of labor ends and the second phase begins.

Just so you know, What to Expect may earn commissions from the shopping links included on this page. The educational health content on What To Expect is reviewed by our team of experts to be up-to-date and in line with the latest evidence-based medical information and accepted health guidelines, including the medically reviewed What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. This educational content is not medical or diagnostic advice.

Use of this site is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy. Getting Pregnant. First Year. Baby Products. Explore Pregnancy Week Your Baby at Week Your Pregnancy Week At a Glance. Dry skin alert. Since your baby has already shed most of her vernix, the waxy coating that acted as a moisturizer, her skin may be getting dry in spots.

Past your due date? If baby hasn't arrived this week, you're in good company: An estimated 30 percent of pregnancies proceed past the week mark. Talk to baby. Be sure that you and your partner talk to baby a lot after she makes her grand entrance. She'll likely recognize the sound of your voices! The end of pregnancy This is the moment you and your baby have been waiting for! Baby's vision at birth The first thing you're likely to look for when your new arrival makes that dramatic — and possibly fashionably late — entrance: proof positive that your baby is actually a boy or a girl.

Your newborn will love being swaddled You'll notice your little one is still curled in the fetal position, although her arms and legs may flail a bit. Will you go past your due date? Pelvis size Many women share an unfounded fear of not being able to actually birth their baby. Braxton Hicks contractions.

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Wondering if those contractions you're feeling this week are the practice Braxton Hicks contractions or the real thing? If they don't increase in frequency or severity or if they subside when you walk around or change position, then they are probably just practice contractions. Read More. Changes in fetal activity. How much movement is normal? You should be able to count 10 flutters, wiggles or rolls an hour. Cervical dilation or effacement.

Dilation is measured in centimeters and effacement in percentages; after an internal exam, your practitioner will probably give you the measurements. The cervix will continue to dilate and efface through early and active labor. Your bowels take a beating during pregnancy — and it seems as if they go from sluggish to loose.

This week, loose bowel movements may be a sign that your labor is imminent. Pelvic pain. If your baby has dropped this week, the uncomfortable feeling in your pelvis may be traced to a certain someone's little head bumping up against your hips and bladder. If you have the time, schedule a massage with a certified prenatal massage therapist; it'll soothe the discomfort.

Leg cramps. When a spasm hits, gently flexing your ankle and toes back toward your shin can help. As tempting as it is to try herbal supplements or other over-the-counter sleep aids, don't. Instead, ask your partner for a relaxing massage. Nesting instinct. Changes in energy level are pretty common this week. Maybe you've been hit by the nesting instinct or maybe you just have an urge to slump in front of the TV and veg out. Don't worry — both are completely normal, as is alternating between the two states.