The grey wolf (Canis lupus), or just wolf, is a mammal of the order Carnivora, and the ancestor of the domestic dog. It is sometimes called timber wolf. A recent study found that the domestic dog is descended from wolves tamed less than 16,300 years ago south of the Yangtze River in China.


Adult wolves are usually 1.4 to 1.8 metres (4.6 to 5.9 ft) in length from nose to tail depending on the subspecies. Wolves living in the far north tend to be larger than those living further south. As adults they may weigh typically between 23 to 50 kilograms (51 to 110 lb). The heaviest wolf recorded weighed 86 kilograms (190 lb).

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Wolves usually measure 26–38 inches at the shoulder. Wolves have fur made up of two layers. The top layer is resistant to dirt, and the underlayer is water resistant. The color of their fur can be any combination of grey, white, red, brown, and black. Studies have shown that in 2007 they have found 23 red gray wolves.

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