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Canis Lupus Novus

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1 Canis Lupus Novus on Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:22 pm

Luna


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Sandusky wolves, Canis lupis novus, have developed from the Mackenzie Valley Wolf, Canis lupus occidentalis, and like the Mackenzie Valley Wolf, they are a large, northern wolf subspecies of Canis lupis. Relatively new, it can be easy to mistake them for a MVW, but unlike them, Sanduskies have developed a more streamlined body. You would have to get a Mackenzie Valley Wolf and a Sandusky Wolf right next to each other to see the difference, otherwise they look exactly the same to the naked eye. Another thing that separates them from their MVW cousins is that they are more common in the northern parts of deciduous forests, where their cousins do not live.
Sanduskies are classified as a "Northern Wolf": large sized, large brained wolves with strong carnassials which inhabit North America, Europe and northern Asia.



Physical description
Anatomy
Sandusky wolves are slender, powerfully built animals with large, deeply descending ribcages and sloping backs. Their abdomens are pulled in, and their necks heavily muscled. Their limbs are long and robust, with comparatively small paws. The front paws have five toes each, while the back paws have four. The forelimbs are seemingly pressed into the chest, with the elbows pointed inward, and the feet outward.
The teeth are heavy and large, being better suited to bone crushing than those of other extant canids, though not as specialised as those found in hyenas.

Dimensions
Like other wolf breeds, females are smaller then males weighing 5 - 10 pounds less then their larger counterparts. Faes also tend to have narrower muzzles and foreheads, thinner necks, slightly shorter legs and less massive shoulders than males, but this does not apply for every female.
Height: 34 - 40 inches, 86 - 101 centimeters
Length: 70 - 76 inches, 177 - 193 centimeters
Weight: 90 - 125 pounds, 40 - 54 kilograms
Skull: 12 inches, 31 centimeters
Ears: 3.5 – 4.3 inches, 90–110 millimeters

Fur
Sandusky wolves have very dense and fluffy winter fur, with short underfur and long, coarse guard hairs.[29] Most of the underfur and some of the guard hairs are shed in the spring and grow back in the autumn period.[48] The longest hairs occur on the back, particularly on the front quarters and neck. Especially long hairs are found 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.
Coat colour ranges from almost pure white through various shades of blond, cream, and ochre to grays, browns, and blacks. Blended pelts are more common then solid colored pelts. Females tend to have smoother coats then males, this becomes more apparent as the female ages.[/font]

Tail
One clear giveaway to tell a Sandusky Wolf from other wolves is that some Sandusky wolves have a curl to their tail, a genetic defect that happened after a period where inbreeding was very common, this can range from a slight curve to an almost U-shaped tail with a complete curl. About 30% of the wolves will still have a curve in their tail, but other defends have long left the species, and it now has a more genetic variety.
Dandusky tails are also longer then other wolves, this is because it helps keep their balance when running up to speeds of 40 miles per hour.

Eyes
Sanduskies have developed larger and rounder eyes better for sight hunting. Eye colors are typically a shade of yellow or light taupe, although darker eyes have been seen. Blue and green eyes are not common for the species.



Behaviour
Family
Like a family, the Wolf pack is a social unit. The pack consists of the breeding pair, or parents, called the alphas and their daughters, sons, sisters, and brothers. The alphas are not always the biggest Wolves in the pack, but are generally the toughest and most respected. Wolf packs have from two to an undetermined number of individuals. The average Wolf pack consists of four to seven individuals, with packs having as many as thirty-six members documented, and packs having over fifty members rumored about.

Diet
Sandusky Wolves primarily feed on medium to large sized ungulates (sometimes 10–15 times larger than themselves, though they are not fussy eaters. Medium and small sized animals preyed on by wolves include hares, badgers, foxes, ground squirrels, mice, and other rodents, as well as insectivores. They frequently eat waterfowl (particularly during their moulting period and winter, when their greasy and fatty meat helps wolves build up their fat reserves) and their eggs. When such foods are insufficient, they will prey on lizards, snakes, frogs, rarely toads and large insects. Some wolf packs in Alaska and Western Canada have been observed to feed on salmon. Wolves will supplement their diet with fruit and vegetable matter; they willingly eat the berries of mountain ash, lily of the valley, bilberries, blueberries and cowberry. Other fruits include nightshade, apples and pears. They readily visit melon fields during the summer months. Wolves can survive without food for long periods; two weeks without food will not weaken a wolf's muscle activity
The prey animals of North American wolves have largely continued to occupy suitable habitats with low human density, and cases of wolves subsisting largely on garbage or livestock are exceptional. Animals commonly preyed on by North American wolves include moose, white-tailed deer, elk, mule deer, mountain sheep and caribou.

Hunting & Feeding
When hunting, wolves will attempt to conceal themselves as they approach their prey. With ungulate herds, they then either attempt to break up the herd, or isolate one or two animals from it. If the targeted animal stands its ground, the wolves either ignore it, or try to intimidate it into running. When chasing small prey, wolves will attempt to catch up with their prey as soon as possible. With larger animals, the chase is prolonged, in order to wear the selected prey out. Wolves usually give up chases after 1 miles. Sometimes, a single wolf will distract the herd with its presence, acting as a decoy, while its pack mates attack from behind. Sandusky wolves have been observed to drive prey onto crusted ice, precipices, ravines, slopes and steep banks to slow them down. Mature wolves usually avoid attacking large prey frontally, instead focusing on the rear and sides of the animal. They kill large prey by biting large chunks of flesh from the soft perineum area, causing massive blood loss. Such bites can cause wounds 10–15 cm in length, with three such bites to the perineum usually being sufficient to bring down a large deer in optimum health. When attacking moose, they occasionally bleed it to death by biting its soft nose. With medium-sized prey such as roe deer or sheep, northern wolves kill by biting the throat, severing nerve tracks and the carotid artery, thus causing the animal to die within a few seconds to a minute. When prey is vulnerable and abundant, wolves may occasionally surplus kill. 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. Medium-sized prey are especially vulnerable to surplus killing, as the swift throat-biting method by which they are killed allows wolves to quickly kill one animal and move on to another. Surplus killing may also occur when adult wolves are teaching their young to hunt.
The Dominate pair typically eats first, though as it is they who usually work the hardest in killing prey, they may rest after a long hunt and allow the rest of the family to eat with a fight. Once the breeding pair has finished eating, the rest of the family will tear 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.


Communication
Body Language
Postural communication in wolves is composed of a variety of facial expressions, tail positions and piloerection (goose bumps). Aggressive or self assertive wolves are characterised by their slow and deliberate movements, high body posture and raised hackles, while submissive ones carry their bodies low, sleeken their fur and lower their ears and tail.
Two forms of submissive behaviour are recognised: passive and active. Passive submission usually occurs as a reaction to the approach of a dominant animal, and consists of the submissive wolf lying partly on its back and allowing the dominant wolf to sniff its anogenital area. Active submission occurs often as a form of greeting, and involves the submissive wolf approaching another in a low posture, and licking the other wolf's face.
When wolves are together, they commonly endulge in behaviours such as nose pushing, jaw wrestling, cheek rubbing and facial licking. The mouthing of each other's muzzles is a friendly gesture, while clamping on the muzzle with bared teeth is a dominance display. Dominant wolves may assert themselves by straddling over a subordinate family member. At a kill, wolves will protect the carcass from afar from other wolves by flattening their ears outwardly, thus indicating that they are covering something belonging to them.

Howling
Wolves howl to assemble the pack (usually before and after hunts), to pass on an alarm (particularly at a den site), to locate each other during a storm or unfamiliar territory and to communicate across great distances. Wolves from different geographic locations may howl in different fashions; the howls of European wolves are much more protracted and melodious than those of North American wolves, whose howls are louder and have a stronger emphasis on the first syllable.
Male wolves give voice through an octave, passing to a deep bass with a stress on "O", while females produce a modulated nasal baritone with stress on "U". Pups almost never howl, while yearling wolves produce howls ending in a series of dog-like yelps. Howls used for calling pack mates to a kill are long, smooth sounds similar to the beginning of the cry of a horned owl. When pursuing prey, they emit a higher pitched howl, vibrating on two notes. When closing in on their prey, they emit a combination of a short bark and a howl. When howling together, wolves harmonize rather than chorus on the same note, thus creating the illusion of there being more wolves than there actually are. Lone wolves typically avoid howling in areas where other packs are present. Wolves do not respond to howls in rainy weather.

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