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Wolves: Glossary

A

affectionate
showing love or attraction
aggression
showing hostility
alpha
having the highest rank
arctic tundra
a habitat in the cold regions of the world

B

bare
show
bison
buffalo
body language
communication through physical behavior

C

canid
scientific name for dogs and related animals
carnivores
animals that eat meat
carrion
dead animals
color phase
the color of an animal's fur, which is determined by genetics and may vary within a population. White, gray and black color phases may be seen within the same gray wolf population. The main color phase within a population often corresponds to the overall color of its environment. For example, the white color phase is the most common in arctic regions

D

defending
protecting
den
shelter for a wild animal
depleted
gone - none left - used up
descended
coming from parents, grandparents or others
dingoes
wild dog of Australia
domesticated
an animal that has been tamed, cannot provide for themselves
dominant
the animal that is in control of the others

E

eliminated
got rid of

G

gender
the difference between male or female in animals
guard hair
course outer hair

H

howl
the one form of communication used by wolves that can be heard over a long distance. A defensive howl is used to keep the pack together and strangers away, to stand their ground and protect young pups who cannot yet travel from danger, and protect kill sites. A social howl is used to locate one another, rally together and possibly just for fun

J

jackals
wild dog of Asia and Africa

L

lemmings
small rodent of Norway or Sweden
litter
all of the pups born during a single birth to an adult female wolf

M

mane
hair around the head of an animal
mate
either member (male or female) of a breeding pair of animals
Middle East
old world countries of the Arabian peninsula

O

organized
in a structured way

P

packs
family groups of wild animals
poaching
Illegal killing or taking of wildlife
portrayed
to represent in a play or story
pouncing
to jump on
predator
an animal that kills and eats other animals to survive
prey
an animal that is hunted for food

R

radio telemetry
a way scientists can follow the movements of animals. They trap the animal and put a special collar on them. The collar emits a signal, like a radio signal, which researchers are able to follow with a receiver
range
the area that animals roam and live
rank
the order of standing in a group, a rating
regurgitated
to throw up into the mouth

S

scat
an animal's fecal matter or feces
scent-marking
animals leave a scent to attract a mate or to mark their territory
snowshoe hare
large footed North American hare (rabbit)
social
enjoys connection with others
stalking
to sneak up on prey
suspicion
concerned

T

tracks
the prints of animals left in snow or mud

U

ungulates
mammals with hooves

V

vocalization
making noise with their voice
voles
a type of small rodent

W

weaned
when a baby or young animal has moved on from mother's milk to solid food
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