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Taxonomy, Morphology, and Genetics of Wolves in the Great Lakes Region

  • Ronald M. Nowak
Chapter

15.1 Wolves: Characters and Relationships

Wolves are animals of the Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora, and Family Canidae. Their genus, Canis, comprises at least seven living wild species, including the North American coyote (C. latrans) and the Old World jackals. Some taxonomists have “lumped” wolves in a single circumpolar species, C. lupus, and some have “split” them among a number of species. The domestic dog sometimes is regarded as the subspecies C. lupus familiaris and sometimes as a fully separate species, C. familiaris. Wolves resemble certain large breeds of the domestic dog, but have a narrower body, a tail that does not curl, relatively larger teeth, and a flatter forehead (Nowak 1979).

In both the Old and New worlds, small kinds of wolves are present all along the southern fringe of the range of C. lupus. Whether they represent components of C. lupusor some other entity is the most persistent problem in the systematics of modern wolves. One of those forms occupied the...

Keywords

Great Lake Great Lake Region Gray Wolf Wolf Population Golden Jackal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Tim Van Deelen very kindly volunteered to help me by running the canonical discriminant analysis. Cecilia A. Mauer prepared the figures.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald M. Nowak
    • 1
  1. 1.Falls ChurchUSA

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