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Mexican wolf

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Mexican wolf
Mexican Wolf.jpg
Scientific Classification
Trinomial Name

Canis lupus baileyi

Mexican Wolf on a stump
Mexican Wolf 2.jpg

The Mexican wolf is a species of wolf known locally as El Lobo (the wolf) and by the scientific name Canis lupus baileyi. They used to cover a lot of the southwestern half of the USA, and Central to Northern Mexico, but they have become an endangered species.

Anatomy

The Wolf's Body

The Mexican Wolf can grow to be 26-32 inches tall, 4.5 to 5.5 feet long, and usually weighs between 60 and 80 lbs. It is gray, and has light brown colored fur. Wolves are consisted of many primary parts, including the following: eyes, ears, nose, legs, tail, body, fur, and skeleton. [1]

Senses

Wolves have excellent eyesight. They can easily spot prey from a long distance. The wolf moves its ears from side to side when it hears something, to determine where the noise is coming from. The wolf's nose is essential to hunting prey. It can be used to track nearby animals, and then hunt them down.

External anatomy

To be able to hunt larger animals such as deer and elk, the wolf's body is designed to be very strong. The wolf's skeleton is specially designed for its lifestyle, mainly because it is built to be very powerful. The wolf's specially designed foreleg bones help it be able to run very fast. Its bones also give it a lot of stability. They have long skulls to help them keep a good hold on their prey. The legs of a wolf are long and nimble, allowing them to outrun their prey. Wolves have only four toes on their hind legs, and five on their front legs. When wolves travel on snow, they spread their toes apart, keeping them from sinking.[2]

The wolf's tail is its way to communicate with special messages. They send different messages depending on the position of the tail (and if the hair on the tail is raised). It is also used to mark their territory with a scent. Wolves have two primary layers of fur. The outer layer is to keep them dry, while the inner layer is for keeping them warm.[3]

Reproduction

Mexican Wolves reproduce sexually. They usually mate between mid-Febuary and mid-March. After mating, it usually takes about 63 days for the puppies to be born. A usual litter contains 3 to 6 puppies. When the puppies are born, they are not only blind, but also deaf. It takes the puppies a few days to be able to start hearing sounds. The puppies usually start to open their eyes at about 11-13 days after birth. It takes four weeks for a puppies ears to stay up, at first they just flop around. It takes about one year for a puppy to fully grow into a wolf.Reproduction

Ecology

The Mexican Wolves used to range from central Mexico to southwestern Texas, southeastern Arizona, and southern New Mexico. Today, they have been introduced to the Apache National Forest in southeastern Arizona, and may be moved to the [4] in western New Mexico once their population increases. The Mexican Wolf's diet primarily consists of ungulates (big hoofed mammals) like elk and deer, but they also have been known to snack on small animals such as: rabbits, ground squirrels, wild pigs and mice. They usually hunt their prey in a pack.[5]

Endangerment

Blue Range Wolf Reintroduction Area.

Due to hunters and the destruction of the enviroment, the Mexican Wolf has become an endangered species. The Defenders of Wildlife (a wildlife protection group) has been leading in conserving the wolves since they have been endangered. In 1998 the mexican wolf reintroduction program had begun. Since then, the wolves have been forming packs, hunting prey, and mating/raising cubs. In 2008 the number of Mexican Wolves in the Blue Range Wolf Reintroduction Area had held steady, after losing lots of numbers in the past 3 years. They are still here, but they are struggling.

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