Arctic Wolf

Category: Education

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Arctic Wolf Adaptation Project By: Maggie Miranda and Estefany Merino

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Natural Environment

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Climate The typical climate of the home of the arctic wolf is a tundra. The temperatures of these places rarely rise above -30 degrees Celsius -22 degrees Fahrenheit and the ground is constantly frozen. It is standard for these places to not receive any sunshine during certain times of the year.

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Diet Arctic wolves are carnivores and their diet consists of Musk oxen Peary caribou Arctic foxes ptarmigan lemmings seals nesting birds and Arctic hares.

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Predators and Prey The arctic wolf is a predator as it is part of the large canine family. Since the practice of hunting large amounts of wolves is no longer legal the wolves tend not to be prey of any animal but humans still pose a threat in the destruction of habitats and food sources.

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Location Arctic wolves live exclusively in the north in the arctic. The primary location of arctic wolves is the U.S. state of Alaska. Although wolves can be found in other places such as Canada and Greenland those populations are dwindling due to habitat destruction and disappearing food sources.

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Activity Arctic wolves are primarily nocturnal animals that have been known to move around in the day. Since the habitat of the arctic wolf is know to be dark 24 hours a day occasionally so this would already qualify them as nocturnal.

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Behavior in Natural Environment Arctic wolves are believed to be loners due to being seen hunting alone but they are actually very social creatures that tend to live in a pack of varying sizes due to the amount of food available at any given time. These wolves like all other wolves are very territorial and often mark their territory with their musk or urine.

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Tolerance for Extremes The Arctic wolf is known for its ability to survive extreme cold and has adapted to these conditions. They have a second coat of fur that thickens when winter comes to keep them warmer while the other constant coat is a water barrier. This keeps the body warm even in the bitter cold of the northern winter. They also have padded paws to protect their feet from the permanently frozen ground. As it has talked multiple generations for these animals to make these adaptations I believe it would be hard for them to transfer to an environment of extreme heat.

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Defensive Mechanism The Arctic wolf has multiple defense mechanism. One obvious one is the “scaring mechanism” where they bare their sharp teeth and puff up their coat to make them seem bigger and more intimidating when they feel like they are in danger. Another is their white fur that acts as camouflage in the tundra where they live. Also as wolves often move they have the vital ability to adapt in almost any situation which is an important ability if the pack has to leave their territory for any reason.

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Tools to help with hunting Arctic wolves are predators and as a large predator they have long claws sharp teeth good nocturnal vision and a white coat to help it blend into the environment so they can sneak up on their prey. Also they hunt in a pack to use teamwork to take down large prey such as oxen or reindeer. They also have the deductive ability of selective hunting to pick off the weak young or old prey so that the prey has less of a chance when fighting back.

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Natural Variation

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Speed An arctic wolf can run up to 75 kilometers per hour 46 miles per hour. This speed can only be held for a small amount of time but slower speeds can be extended for long periods of time. This allows arctic wolves to wear out their prey before speeding up and taking them out.

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Size Arctic wolves vary in size. Their adult lengths can be form 3.4 feet to 5.2 feet their height from 2.6 to 2.8 feet and their weight from 66 to 180 pounds for males and 51 to 120 pounds for females.

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Ability to acquire food Arctic wolves hunt very efficiently in groups known as packs to take down prey much larger than themselves. They have sharp teeth and powerful jaws that allow them to disable take down and eat their prey. Because food can be scarce arctic wolves can eat many pounds of meat in a short period of time. They take turns in the pack with the hunting and give food to their pups by regurgitating partially digested food.

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Senses Wolves have a highly developed sense of smell being able to scent something from up to 1.75 miles away. Also a wolf’s hearing is very good being able to hear sounds out of human decibel range and from about 6 miles away in cover and 10 miles away in the open. Wolves eyes sight is very keen with predatory eyes on the front of their heads. Finally wolves can taste things relatively well but due to inability to test this we don’t know very much about this other than they can detect certain tastes.

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New Environment

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Climate A desert is classified in the Koppen climate classification. Where it doesnt meet the criteria to be as a polar climate and precipitation is too low to sustain to any sort of vegetation. In moving the organism the Arctic wolf to the Mojave Desert a rain-shadow almost high desert area. The Mojave Desert

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Similar Organisms With complete polar opposites in climates from a Tundra to a Dessert. There are many similarities species with both. For example there is a common species in both environments the wolf.The Mexican Gray wolf which ranges from North Americato the Arctic Circle all the way to central Mexico. Once in the lifetime of the Mexican Gray wolf once lived in high elevations with cold weather.

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Predators Mojave Desert All predators in the Mojave Desert have a need for a source of water so many animals hunt around a open source of water. Some mammalian predators are coyote and a mountain lion. Reptilian predators are Mojave rattlesnake and a Black-collared Lizard. An Avian reptiles are Red- tailed hawk and a Golden eagle.

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Prey A prey tends to mean that they are either sought after and captured from other predators. Some prey on the Mojave Desert would be a Desert Cottontail a Desert Bighorn Sheep or a tarantula.Prey animals need to be captured and eaten for their to be a healthy ecosystem.

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What would be the effects In the case if we had to move an Arctic Wolf from its tundra habitat to a desert habitat. The Arctic wolf would quickly adapt into its new presented habitat. Wolfs are known to quickly evolve. There are a number of identified places where wolves have been known to survive. An Arctic Wolf would be able to adapt easily into a new environment if its necessary for them to survive and evolve to their new environment.

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Other animals adaptability to a desert Organisms that would be better suited to this new environment for example could be a Kangarooduring the australian summers they are able to cool themselves of. A cape ground squirrel would be able to adapt quickly due to its long tail that can be used for shade to protect them from the sun.

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Conditions that could cause evolution

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Temperature The temperature in the Arctic wolf natural habitat rarely surpasses -22 F a huge difference is made of moved into a desert climate. The Mojave desert primarily temperatures from June to August can range any where from 110 F.

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Availability of Water Form a plentiful water supply for an Arctic Wolf in its current habit. To a completely contradicting habitat in desert. Since wolves travel in packs they would have to find a water supply. Mexican Gray Wolves have know to travel in packs and look for their water source but with their adaptation to a lack of a water source they dont need as much water to survive.

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Predators / prey Predators it would have are closely similar as to a Mexican Grey Wolf.In any new new environment this may affect them greatly due to the outstanding white fur color of the Arctic Wolf that will make them an easy target as a prey. The greatest threat they may face is human hunting. Preys for them may be small mammal animals or livestock from farms.

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C The population may gradually decrease until their offspring will be able to adapt to the new environment in order for their following offspring to survive. In order for them to survive many characteristics will have to be adapted such as their fur color and develop longer legs to run to capture their prey or run away from predators. D The change may gradually increase in order for the adaptations to occur may take a couple of years to even see any sign of developing changes.

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