The Steppe Wolf (Canis lupus campestris) is a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. It is a canid or canine mammal. It is also known as the Caspian Sea Wolf.
The Steppe Wolf is dog-like with thick light-grey fur, and a rusty-red-grey or brownish back with a mixture of black hair. It has a triangular-shaped face with a wide forehead and medium-sized ears and brown eyes. Its tail does not have much fur.
It grows to about 123 centimetres (48 inches) long and 70 centimetres (28 inches) at shoulder height.
It is native to Central Asia, such as the Caspian steppes, the Caucasus steppes, southern Kazakhstan, and southern Russia. It prefers forests and grasslands.
It is an apex predator because it has few enemies. It has large, strong teeth to feed on livestock, rabbits, hares, deer, ibexes, foxes, badgers, weasels, marmots, squirrels, mice, rats, and fish. It can break and crush the bones of its prey.
The Steppe Wolf is a social animal and lives in small families, called packs. Each pack has 5-11 individuals.
The male and female generally stay together as a pair for life. The female is pregnant for 62-75 days, before giving birth to 5-6 young, called pups. She has the pups in a den so that she can protect them.
The young pups are born blind and deaf, and stay in the pack for 10-54 months before leaving to start their own pack.
[Location of photographs: Tashkent Zoo, Uzbekistan]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM