Why Are They Called Gray Wolves?

by OBDK on May 14, 2021

A wolf’s fur is really important. It helps them survive the harsh elements they face in their environments.

They have two coats – the outer layer, called guard hairs are the ones that protect wolves from the rain, snow, wind, etc. The undercoat is a much softer layer that helps insulate the wolf.1 They also have fur in their ears to protect them.2 A wolf is so well insulated that snow won’t melt when it lands on its fur.


Gray Wolves aren’t just gray but can come in a variety of other colors, like white, black, or tan. The color they end up is determined by three pairs of genes.3


So if Gray Wolves can come in a variety of colors, why do we call them gray wolves? The answer is in the undercoat! Check out our video here or click on the video below! 

Sources & Further Reading: 
  1. https://wolf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/WildKids_spring2018.pdf

  2. https://wolfhaven.org/fur/

  3. https://nywolf.org/2018/10/research-reveals-relationship-between-wolfs-coat-color-and-health/

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