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12 Things You Didn’t Know About Wolves

A confused reaction of a wolf during winter.

There are some things you might not know about wolves. For example, did you know that they sometimes like to swim? They also like to play and can be very friendly animals.

Learning more about wolves can be fun and interesting, so if you get a chance, make sure to check out some of the top 10 facts about them!

1. Wolves are not afraid of water

Gray wolf beside the lake.

While it is true that some wolves may be afraid of swimming, this is not always the case. In fact, many wolves enjoy swimming and will even go out of their way to find bodies of water to play in. Wolves are known to live in frozen or semi-frozen wooded areas, which means they are also good swimmers.

They use their swimming skills to help them catch prey that may be trying to escape by crossing a river or lake.

2. Wolves are very social animals

A group of wolves in the forest.

Wolves live in packs of anywhere from two to over 30 individuals. The pack is led by the alpha male and female, who are usually parents of the wolves in the pack. All members of the pack help to care for the young pups, and will defend them from predators or other threats.

Wolves are very loyal to their pack mates and will often stay with the same group for their entire lives.

3. Wolves have excellent hearing

A close-up photo of wolf in winter.

Wolves have much better hearing than humans. They can hear sounds up to six times farther away than we can. This is helpful for them when they are hunting, as they can use their keen hearing to locate prey that may be hiding or trying to escape.

It also helps them to stay aware of potential dangers, such as other predators or approaching humans.

4. They can swim up to 8 miles in a day

Wolves are very good swimmers and can cover a lot of ground in water. They have been known to swim up to 8 miles in a day while hunting. This is a great way for them to catch prey that may be trying to escape by crossing a river or lake.

5. Wolves are very intelligent

Wolves are one of the most intelligent animals in the world. They have been known to use tools, solve complex problems, and even understand human language. This intelligence makes them very successful hunters and allows them to adapt to changing environments.

6. Wolves communicate using body language, vocalizations, and scent

Two wolves howling in the forest.

Wolves communicate using a variety of methods, including body language, vocalizations, and scent. Wolves howl to communicate with each other, but they also use it to locate prey or defend territory. Body language is used to communicate things like dominance, submission, aggression, and fear.

Vocalizations are used to convey a wide range of emotions, from happiness to sadness. Scent is used to mark territory and identify pack members. Wolves also use facial expressions to communicate, much like humans do.

7. Wolves are omnivores

Pack of grey wolves eating their hunt.

Wolves are not strictly carnivores, as they will also eat fruits and vegetables. However, the majority of their diet is meat. This is why they are typically thought of as strictly being carnivores.

They typically hunt large prey, such as deer or moose. But they will also eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, and even fish. In areas where their preferred prey is scarce, they have been known to eat berries, acorns, and other plant matter.

8. The typical lifespan of a wolf is 6 to 16 years

Wolves in the wild typically die from disease, starvation, or injury. Wolves that are killed by humans typically die from being shot.

9. Wolves have been hunted by humans for centuries

Wolves have been hunted by humans for centuries, primarily for their fur. In some areas, they were also killed to protect livestock. Today, wolves are still hunted in some parts of the world, but they are also protected in many areas.

The hunting of wolves has led to a decline in their population in some areas, but their numbers have rebounded in others.

10. Wolves are an important part of the ecosystem

Two wolves cuddling in the forest.

Wolves play an important role in the ecosystem. They help to keep populations of other animals in check, which can help to prevent disease and starvation. They also help to keep the landscape healthy by eating sick and weak animals.

This helps to keep populations strong and free from disease. Wolves are a vital part of the ecosystem and their numbers should be carefully monitored. If their populations decline too much, it could have a negative impact on the ecosystem as a whole.

11. There are currently three subspecies of wolves in North America

There are currently three subspecies of wolves in North America, the gray wolf, the red wolf, and the Mexican wolf. The gray wolf is the most common and can be found throughout North America. The red wolf is smaller and has a more reddish coat.

It is found in parts of the southeastern United States. The Mexican wolf is the smallest of the three and has a gray coat with white markings. It is found in Mexico and parts of the southwestern United States.

12. Wolf Habitats

European grey wolf walking in natural forest habitat looking to side.

Wolves are found in a variety of habitats all over the world, including North America, Europe, Asia and even parts of Africa. They typically prefer areas with dense forest cover, but can also be found in open plains and mountainous regions. They usually den in dense vegetation or in caves.

Some of the specific types of habitats that wolves are known to inhabit include:

  • Boreal forests
  • Tundra
  • Mountain areas
  • Grasslands

Wolves will also make use of human-created habitats, such as parks and rural farms, if they offer the right conditions. For example, wolves in the United States are known to inhabit farmlands in the Midwest.


Wolves are fascinating animals that have long been misunderstood by humans. They are intelligent, social creatures that play an important role in the ecosystem. Although they have been hunted by humans for centuries, their numbers have rebounded in many areas.

Today, wolves are protected in many parts of the world and their populations are carefully monitored. If you are interested in more fun facts or have any questions about wolves or other wildlife, you can leave a comment below to get a conversation going! Thanks for reading!