Fun Arctic Wolf Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 29, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Arctic Wolf facts are very interesting and help us discover more about this amazing creature.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

The White Arctic Wolf is the snowy, furry subspecies of the grey wolf native to the Arctic Tundra regions. It is the iconic wolf of the frozen white Arctic regions of the world, in places such as North America, Greenland, and Alaska. The Arctic Wolf's scientific name is Canis lupus arctos.

Known to survive very harsh and cold environments, these wolves live in areas with temperatures below 0 °C. Due to their isolated habitats, they are not threatened by humans.

They have a lifespan of 7-10 years in the wild (can live up to 20 years in captivity) and have adapted bodies to suit extreme conditions. They have small ears, thick seasonal fur, thick body fat and paws having counter-current heat transfer mechanisms. Reproduction occurs once in a year.

Once found all over Northern America, Arctic wolves are now limited in population to the regions of Canada, Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Greenland. These polar animals are found only in Tundra regions, and not in the Southern Hemisphere or pole.

They usually hunt in packs by surrounding their prey from all sides. Known to have a huge appetite, they eat one good meal per day. Food supply is relatively low in the northern tundra regions; however, Polar wolves are tough and can survive without food for many days.

Arctic wolves live in packs of 4 to 7 (sometimes 10). An Arctic Wolf diet can exceed up to 20 pounds (9.07 kilogram). The population of Arctic wolves in the world is currently 200,000 in the wild.

For more interesting facts, why not check out red wolf or Mexican wolf animal fact files.

Arctic Wolf Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Arctic wolf?

Arctic wolf is a mammal belonging to the Arctic and Tundra regions.

What class of animal does an Arctic wolf belong to?

The Arctic Wolf is a mammal.

How many Arctic wolves are there in the world?

There are about 200,000 arctic wolves remaining in the world.

Where does an Arctic wolf live?

Arctic Wolf lives in the Arctic and Tundra Regions, the polar areas in the north. The locations it is found the most in are North America, Greenland, Canada, Tundra regions, Alaska and Iceland.

What is an Arctic wolf's habitat?

The Arctic Wolf habitat is the Arctic tundra regions in the North.

Who do Arctic wolves live with?

Arctic Wolves live in packs of 4 to 7 with their fellow wolves.

How long does an Arctic wolf live?

An arctic wolf lives for about 7 to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Similar to the related grey wolf, the subspecies Arctic wolves have lifelong mating bonds. They live in a hierarchical pack of 4 to 7 wolves, dominated by the Alpha male and female pair. They reproduce every once in a year. Arctic wolf puppies are born in litters of 2 to 4 pups.

What is their conservation status?

Arctic Wolf's conservation status is of least concern. Due to their isolated tendencies, they seem to have no threats.

Arctic Wolf Fun Facts

What do Arctic wolves look like?

They are animals of prey and carnivores by nature. This species is also called Polar Wolf or White Wolf (Canis lupus arctos) and is a subspecies of the grey wolf. The grey wolf species populations are concentrated in the Queen Elizabeth Islands of Canada.

In terms of appearance, Arctic wolves are usually smaller compared to other wolf species. They have thick, snowy-white fur and short ears with rounded edges. Their legs and snouts are also shorter compared to other categories of Canis lupus.

They also have fur padding on their feet to protect from the extreme weather. An Arctic wolf’s thick white fur assists with camouflage while hunting. They have a set of 42 razor sharp teeth useful for hunting.

The Arctic white wolf adapts easily to its surroundings with versatility.

How cute are they?

Usually smaller than the grey wolf, the Arctic wolf isn’t necessarily cute. But it can be friendlier and more inquisitive than its more ferocious counterparts. Perhaps due to its more frequent encounters with humans, the white polar wolf is slightly friendlier with people. An Arctic Wolf puppy is very cute.

How do they communicate?

Arctic wolves are quite a communicative species. They use auditory, olfactory, visual and tactile senses to convey information to the pack mates.

They make use of their urine and fecal matter (for scents, and their olfactory sense) to demarcate pack territory and keep out other predators in the vicinity. Arctic wolves usually howl, whimper, bark, growl and whine as per different situations.

They like to howl before prey. These wolves are also known to make use of different body postures and stature, using their ears, and tails, to convey dominance, threat or submission.

How big is an Arctic wolf?

Arctic wolves are comparatively smaller than the grey wolf. They measure up to 30 inches (ca. 76 centimeters) or 2.5 feet.

They are about one and a half times larger than their domestic counterpart, the Siberian Huskies or malamutes. An Arctic wolf size is about four times the size of a Beagle. An Arctic wolf’s pup is about the size of a Beagle.

How fast can an Arctic wolf run?

An Arctic wolf can run with a maximum speed of 40-45 miles per hour (approximately 72 kilometers per hour) while hunting.

How much does an Arctic wolf weigh?

The male white Arctic wolf weighs between 75-101 lbs (34-46 kg), whereas the female weighs between 79-83 lbs (36-38 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Although both males and females of this species are called Arctic wolves, the leaders of the packs are called the alpha males and their mates are called the alpha females.

What would you call a baby Arctic wolf?

A baby Arctic wolf is called a pup or puppy. An average female Arctic wolf can have between 4-6 pups in a year. The group of Arctic Wolf pups is called a litter.

What do they eat?

Arctic wolves are carnivorous animals of prey. An Arctic Wolf diet needs an average of two pounds of food per day. Their staple diet includes lemmings, Arctic caribou, foxes, muskoxen, Arctic hares, deer and sometimes even polar bear cubs. Arctic hares, in particular, are frequent prey for these wolves.

Are they aggressive?

Arctic wolves are not known to be as aggressive as grey wolves. Despite their carnivorous diet, the Canis lupus arctos is comparatively gentler compared to others of the Canis lupus species. They only show aggression in case of threats or adverse situations. They might also become aggressive when protecting their pups and territory.

Would they make a good pet?

The answer to this is a strict no. Even if young arctic wolves could be tamed to some extent, the grown-up ones are wild and untameable. They are carnivores and would not think twice before preying on their master.

Did you know...

The Arctic Wolf puppy is born blind and deaf and remains as such for a month. They are able to come out of their dens only after at least two months from birth. They are also known as whelps.  The Arctic Wolf puppy attains sexual maturity and is ready for reproduction at the age of 2-3 years.

How are Arctic wolves adapted to their habitat?

Arctic wolves are well-adapted to their natural surroundings. They have silken white fur to camouflage with the snow. It helps to hide themselves completely from their prey. They also have thick underfur that protects them from the frozen habitat.

They have small, rounded ears, shorter legs and snouts that prevent extensive heat loss. Their feet and toes are padded with fur. Their set of 42 teeth help in hunting prey such as lemmings, caribou and Arctic hares.

The entire population of these wolves lives in dens made of rock, soil depressions or pre-existing caves. Due to their permanent frozen habitat, the wolf arctic is unable to dig its den.

What eats the Arctic wolf?

Apart from the threat of climate change and habitat loss, the Arctic wolf rarely faces much threat to life. However, other larger varieties of wolves can prey on Arctic wolf pups, and sometimes Polar bears can hunt the white wolf when food supply is low.

Human intervention in the northern Tundra regions, like poaching, hunting and persecution, are some activities that render the population status of Arctic wolves in danger.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including tundra wolf, or Kunming wolfdog.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Arctic wolf coloring pages.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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