Rabid wolves usually act alone, travelling large distances and often biting large numbers of people and domestic animals. All members of the pack care solicitously for the young.  Wolves mainly attack livestock when the animals are grazing, though they occasionally break into fenced enclosures. In most areas of the world, humans are the leading cause of death for wolves. , Bacterial diseases carried by wolves include: brucellosis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, tularemia, bovine tuberculosis, listeriosis and anthrax. , In the distant past, there has been gene flow between African golden wolves, golden jackals, and gray wolves.  An extinct Late Pleistocene wolf may have been the ancestor of the dog, with the dog's similarity to the extant wolf being the result of genetic admixture between the two. Most rabid wolf attacks occur in the spring and autumn periods.  In Chinese astronomy, the wolf represents Sirius as the "blue beast" and the star itself is called the "heavenly wolf". On rare occasions, female wolves dig burrows themselves, which are usually small and short with one to three openings. A rock crevice, hollow log, overturned stump, or abandoned beaver lodge may be used as a den, and even a depression beneath the lower branches of a conifer will sometimes suffice.  The most frequently killed hunting breeds in Scandinavia are Harriers, older animals being most at risk, likely because they are less timid than younger animals, and react to the presence of wolves differently. Wolves measure 105–160 cm (41–63 in) in length and 80–85 cm (31–33 in) at shoulder height. Toxocara canis, a hookworm known to infect wolf pups in the uterus, can cause intestinal irritation, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. , Endoparasites known to infect wolves include: protozoans and helminths (flukes, tapeworms, roundworms and thorny-headed worms).  Wolves also kill red, Arctic and corsac foxes, usually in disputes over carcasses, sometimes eating them.  Female wolves tend to have smoother furred limbs than males and generally develop the smoothest overall coats as they age. The smallest tend to be near the southern end of their distribution (the Middle East, Arabia, and India). Gray wolves, or timber wolves, are canines with long bushy tails that are often black-tipped. Such attacks typically occur only locally and do not stop until the wolves involved are eliminated. They are not as specialized as those found in hyenas though. This gait can be maintained for hours at a rate of 8–9 km/h (5.0–5.6 mph). The young are usually born in a den consisting of a natural hole or a burrow, often in a hillside. Also, wolves with pups experience greater food stresses during this period.  They are known to eat the berries of mountain-ash, lily of the valley, bilberries, cowberries, European black nightshade, grain crops, and the shoots of reeds. When such foods are insufficient, they prey on lizards, snakes, frogs, and large insects when available. The second is the Iberian Wolf. Howling helps the pack stay in contact and also seems to strengthen social bonds among pack members. Adoptee males may mate with an available pack female and then form their own pack. With smaller prey like beaver, geese, and hares, there is no risk to the wolf.  The wolf is a protected species in national parks under the Canada National Parks Act. Keen senses, large canine teeth, powerful jaws, and the ability to pursue prey at 60 km (37 miles) per hour equip the gray wolf well for a predatory way of life. 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. A peer-review panel found it riddled with errors …  Wolves may wound large prey and then lie around resting for hours before killing it when it is weaker due to blood loss, thereby lessening the risk of injury to themselves.  With wolves in the wild, inbreeding does not occur where outbreeding is possible. Gray wolves are the largest members of the dog family (canis lupus), and the ancestor of the domestic dog (canis lupus familiaris).  The tail measures 29–50 cm (11–20 in) in length, the ears 90–110 mm (3 1⁄2–4 3⁄8 in) in height, and the hind feet are 220–250 mm (8 5⁄8–9 7⁄8 in).  The wolf also appears to be widespread in Iran. Wolves may catch infectious canine hepatitis from dogs, though there are no records of wolves dying from it.  Other wolves appear to have originated in Beringia in an expansion that was driven by the huge ecological changes during the close of the Late Pleistocene. 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. In Vedic Hinduism, the wolf is a symbol of the night and the daytime quail must escape from its jaws. Wolves probably become infected with Trichinella spiralis by eating infected ungulates.  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.  Villainous wolf characters also appear in The Three Little Pigs and "The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats".  The dingo, Basenji, Tibetan Mastiff and Chinese indigenous breeds are basal members of the domestic dog clade. Isengrim is forever the victim of Reynard's wit and cruelty, often dying at the end of each story. It inhabits vast areas of the Northern Hemisphere. The grey wolf resembles a domestic dog, such as a German shepherd or a sled dog, but … The wolf (Canis lupus ), also known as the gray wolf or grey wolf, is a large canine native to Eurasia and North America. By 2018, wolves were thought to be responsible for the losses of hundreds of heads of cattle and other livestock per year in the U.S. To ameliorate the concerns of livestock owners and dampen the potential backlash against wolves, several states have programs that compensate livestock owners for the losses to their herds when there is evidence of wolf attacks on their animals.  Interactions have been observed in Eurasia between wolves and golden jackals, the latter's numbers being comparatively small in areas with high wolf densities. (November) The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted in November to delist wolves from the Endangered Species Act. This suggests they either often processed carcasses, or that they competed with other carnivores and needed to consume their prey quickly.  The earliest fossils of C. lupus were found in what was once eastern Beringia at Old Crow, Yukon, Canada, and at Cripple Creek Sump, Fairbanks, Alaska. Caribou live in herds of thousands which presents dangers for wolves. After snowfalls, wolves find their old trails and continue using them.  In Russia, the wolf is regarded as a pest because of its attacks on livestock, and wolf management means controlling their numbers by destroying them throughout the year. With small, mouselike prey, wolves leap in a high arc and immobilize it with their forepaws.  By autumn, the pups are mature enough to accompany the adults on hunts for large prey. Territory size depends largely on the amount of prey available and the age of the pack's pups.  Some wolves carry Neospora caninum, which can be spread to cattle and is correlated with bovine miscarriages. The largest members of the canine family, male wolves weigh males between 65 and 175 po… The Ancient Greeks associated wolves with Apollo, the god of light and order. 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. The Grey Wolf is known as the Timber Wolf in North America and the White Wolf in the Arctic, or more generally as the Common Wolf. 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. , Offspring typically stay in the pack for 10–54 months before dispersing. The Trump administration is working to lift endangered species protections for gray wolves in the U.S. by the end of 2020. Wolf attacks on humans are rare because wolves are relatively few, live away from people, and have developed a fear of humans because of their experiences with hunters, ranchers, and shepherds. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. However, those wolf populations living in Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan are listed in its Appendix I, indicating that these may become extinct without restrictions on their trade. , A review of the studies on the competitive effects of dogs on sympatric carnivores did not mention any research on competition between dogs and wolves.  In another story, the wolf tricks and eats some rats by pretending to be lame but is foiled by the chief rat. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.