Wolf Role-play Information

I have taken everything I know and found about wolf role-play and made one group so all can get a better understanding. I hope this help everyone to make their role-play more fun and entertaining.

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Title: Wolf Lingo
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Aurora_Hellstormm
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(Date Posted:06/25/2013 8:57 PM)
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Active Submission: approaching a dominant wolf and licking or nipping its muzzle. Pack members often greet the alpha male in this manner. 

Alpha: the dominant member (or pair) of a group such as a pack. 

Beta Male: the male wolf second in rank to the alpha male of a pack. 

Bond: an attachment that an individual human or animal forms to another. Many animals such as wolves have difficulty forming strong bonds to another individual or species when they are no longer infants. 

Canine: a member of a family of animals that includes dogs, wolves, foxes, and coyotes. 

Den: an enclosure in which wolf pups are born and where they spend the first four weeks of their lives. 

Dispersal: the process in which young wolves leave their families to form new packs. 

Dominant: being in charge of, or leading, others. A dominant wolf holds its tail up, pricks its ears, and stands tall around a submissive wolf. 

Pack: a group that gathers together to make hunting and other ways of surviving easier. 

Predators: animals that hunt and kill other animals. 

Raised-leg urination (RLU): urinating with one hind leg raised. The dominant wolves in a pack make scent marks with RLUs. 

Rendezvous site: a spot within a wolf pack's territory where pups are left when they are too young to join the pack in hunting. 

Scent Marking: using urine or other strong-smelling substances to mark the boundaries of a territory. 

Territorial: to consider an area of land as your own and to keep strange members of your species out by using warnings of fighting, it needed. Animals such as deer that are not territorial are said to have home ranges. This means that they have certain areas where they live but they don't defend them. 

Wolfers: hunters who were hired to kill wolves in the United States during the last half of the 19th century.
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RE:Wolf Lingo
(Date Posted:06/25/2013 8:57 PM)

The Alpha Pair 

Wolf Bonds 
Wolves are surprisingly loyal to their mates. A bond exists between the alpha pair that is not seen between them and the rest of the pack, or between other wolves in the pack. Some wolves, tired of being ordered around by their parents, often leave in hopes that they will start their own pack. They eventually find another wolf, and if they can cooperate will start a family together. Although wolves are monogamous and typically mate for life, this is not always the case. It used to be believed that in the event that one of the couple dies, the other wolf will not seek out another mate, but this is not true. Wolves have been known to have many mates in their lifetime, even simultaneously. Wolves will sometimes even leave their mates in search of a new one. There have even been cases where in a single wolf pack, there are two breeding females to one male. 

The two are extremely loving towards each other, spending a lot of time cuddling and nuzzling with each other. This intensifies during breeding season, when the wolf pair get especially affectionate with each other, spending all of their time together nuzzling and cuddling. When his mate becomes pregnant, the male is extremely supportive of her, by providing plenty of food for their new family. The wolf society seems to be the most anti-sexist society in the animal kingdom; females are treated as equals by the males. All members of the pack, both male and female, hunt, play and eat together. Pregnant wolves and females with cubs under four weeks are treated with high regards from the rest of the pack, who are eager to help out. They provide her with plenty of food and protection. Other females in the pack often lactate (produce milk) at the same time as she does, so they often help to nurse the cubs. Weaning of the cubs is the responsibility of the entire pack as well. Younger members of the pack will also take turns babysitting the cubs when the older members go hunting. 
Alpha Roles 

It is well known that wolves have and maintain a hierarchy. But when most people are asked who is the most dominant, the alpha male or the alpha female, they would say that the alpha male is the dominant one. But most people would be astonished, or at least fascinated, to know that, in most packs, the two are equal. They both have equal but different duties. The alpha male's duties are scent marking, chasing away intruders, and managing the males in the pack by preventing them from mating. He also starts the pack's prehunting rallying and starts group ceremonial howls. He is, most of the time, the leader in the hunt, but in many areas, females have been seen leading the hunts. The alpha female's duties are to manage the females in the pack by prohibiting them from mating, choosing her mate and den site, and rearing the cubs. She will chose the exact paternity of her cubs; she usually mates with the alpha male, but sometimes chooses another mate. Her most important duty is choosing the den site, which can spell the life or death of the future generation. For instance, if the den is in an area where there is little prey, the cubs will become malnourished and die. 

These things aside, the responsibilities of maintaining a wolf pack are shared equally, with each one directing certain aspects. It is generally viewed, however, that the females' responsibilities are slightly more important because she takes care of the tasks that create a pack. Human society is finally beginning to advance to the same level that wolf societies have been functioning at for millennia: equal opportunity leadership. 

Mating Behavior: Courtship and Copulation 

Wolves generally mate two months before spring arrives where they live, which is later the farther north they live. So wolves who live in the Arctic mate in April, and the wolves who live in Minnesota mate in January. Wolves who live in the southern parts of a continent, such as Mexican wolves, have no set mating period, because food availability is stable year-round. The cubs are born in the spring because that is the time that is most favorable for their survival; more food is available. Wolves mate only once a year, even if all the cubs die in that year's litter. During the breeding period, aggression and tension in the pack rises, and scent marking rises too. 

During the mating season, the pair may move away from the other pack members temporarily to avoid interruption. The pair becomes highly affectionate with one another, cuddling and playing, and sleeping together. They will practice mutual grooming, and make quiet whining noises to one another. The male spends and increasing amount of time sniffing the female wolf's genitals, checking for receptivity. They will often urinate together, and scent mark together as well. The male will smell the female's urine during and after urination, again checking for receptivity (presence of sex hormones). If she is not receptive, she will snap at the male for his advances. 

When the female enters oestrus, special changes take place to ensure that she is receptive. The first stage is called proestrus, or just estrus, where the females' vulva swells, she sheds the lining of her uterus, and sheds some blood from her vulva. She becomes very affectionate, but will not allow mating to take place. The next stage of oestrus is ovulation, and this is when mating takes place. The female will only remain receptive for five to seven days. 

The male wolf, and all male canids, have a special bone in their penis called the baculum. This bone is wider and ring shaped at its base, this is called his "bulb", and when copulating this bulb swells, locking the male and female together in a copulatory "tie". In mating, the male wolf clasps the female wolf by her hips with his arms, and mounts her firmly. After penetration, the male thrusts his hips to stimulate ejaculation. After the initial ejaculation, the bulb of his penis swells, and the female's vagina swells as well, to anchor the penis in place. They remain tied together for anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. After the initial ejaculation, the pair may turn around 180 degrees, so that they face away from each other for the remainder of the time. This is so that they can defend themselves while copulating. The male will ejaculate up to five times during copulation. Secretions occur during copulation that help to make sure the sperm can reach the fallopian tubes. 

The copulatory tie serves to make sure that the female's cubs are the genetic offspring of her mate. She cannot mate 24 hours after the coupling. The male's sperm is nearly 100% guaranteed to reach and fertilize the eggs in that time, so parentage is usually not an issue. 



Communication 

Verbal Communication 
Wolves have a complex communication system. It consists of posturing, scent, positioning of the ears and tail, and verbal communication of a series of grunts, howls, growls, yips, and whines; wolves rarely bark, but they do "woof". Howls are the most mysterious of these, and are known to call the pack together before the hunt, as a good morning gesture, saying hello and good-bye to other members of the pack, to keep strange wolves away form their territory, to mourn the loss of a pack mate, and just for the fun of it! When wolves howl they constantly change pitch. Wolves howling together howl on different notes and different pitches, as if to create the illusion that there are more wolves than are actually present. If they all howled on the same note, it would seem like there was only one wolf, and if they were howling to warn off other stray wolves, they would want their pack to sound large. 

Scent Communication 

Wolves are very territorial animals, and so they mark the boundaries of their territories to let other wolves know this is their packs home. They do this by depositing urine and feces at the edges of their home range. Other strange wolves can smell certain chemicals deposited in the feces from anal glands and tail glands of the wolves in the other pack. They know by smelling chemicals in feces and urine who left the deposit, their gender, rank, mood, and maturity. They can also tell when the wolf left the mark. If the mark is faded in intensity, that wolf can infer that the wolf who marked that tree is far away from there, and if it was a pack, the pack has moved on. Wolves will mark the same spots over and over again each day, so if a mark is old, a wolf knows that the pack has left and is in no immediate danger. 

Wolves also communicate when they are in estrus through chemical signals in the urine and feces. These chemicals, known collectively as "pheromones", let the male wolf know when the female wolf is ready to mate. Certain chemicals are sent out to let the male know when the female is in estrus and is not ready, to let the male know when she is ready, and even chemicals to tell the male to mount. 

Wolves use smell to identify members of their own pack. Wolves have several specialized scent glands on their body: two anal glands located just inside the anus, another gland located just outside the anus, a gland called the precaudal gland which is on the tail about two inches from the base on the top of the tail, several scent glands located in the paw pads, and scent glands on their faces. These glands are used for marking purposes as well as identification purposes. By smelling the uro-anal region, one wolf can clearly determine who another wolf is by using chemical cues excreted from the wolf's tail glands. 

Body Language 

Wolves also have a complex body language. Wolves clearly show what their feelings are to other members of the pack through body positioning, ear and tail position, and noises accompanying the postures. Wolves will raise their tail high to indicate that they are in charge, and tuck it between their legs to indicate fear or submission. Ears laying flat against the head accompanied by bared teeth indicate fear, but ears pointed forward accompanied by bared teeth indicate aggression without fear. 

Wolves indicate their aggression by growling , pricking their ears forward, staring, and pointing their tail straight outwards. Wolves flatten their ears, tuck their tail between their legs, look away, and have their back arched outward when they are afraid. Wolves who roll on their back and showing their belly are showing submission. Those who are ambivalent (don't know how they feel, or have mixed feelings about a situation or wolf), will often mix up these signals. Wolves stick out their tongue at another wolf to tell him that they give up. The play bow, inviting other wolves to join in a romp, is shown by the wolf sticking his rump up in the air, wagging his tail, placing his front end flat on the ground, and giving a swift "bark". 

Because of these very distinct signals, it is really easy to see, for instance, who is the alpha at a kill. The alpha pair will eat first at a kill, and will overtly assert their dominance over the lower ranking wolves until they are done eating. 

Wolves also communicate through a series of gestures combined with vocalizations. One such moving example is that of grief. Wolves are very expressionate about how they communicate grief. When, for instance, a pack member dies, once playful wolves will refuse to eat and play, mope around all the time with their ears down to the sides of their heads, their tail held limp, their heads hung low, and walking at a slow gait, moaning and whimpering. The wolves will hold group howls, which consist of a low, long mournful howl, with a low pitched bark in the middle, almost like they are crying. 

The following are examples of the most overt body and tail postures in wolf communication: 

Snapping Attack: Ears forward, teeth bared, tail bent, and body in a defensive posture. This wolf is signaling to the other wolves that he means business, and will attack other wolves if they do not obey him. This is most likely a dominant wolf displaying aggression towards a lower ranking pack member, possibly chasing it away from a kill. This is also used to scare away intruders. Basically, making himself look scary to avoid confrontation, the last step before actual physical combat. (View Image)

Defensive Threat: Ears laid back against head, tail tucked between legs, back arched, holding a submissive posture. This wolf feels threatened by another wolf's actions, and is not likely to give up easily. This wolf is preparing to fight off whoever is making him feel uncomfortable, but tries to scare him away first with flashing fangs. (View Image) 

Fighting Pin-Down: Display of dominance. An alpha pack member will often assert his or her authority over other pack members by this form of ritualized aggression. Dominant members of the pack will pin down the lower ranking ones to make sure they understand they are lower in rank. (View Image) 

Passive Submission: Submissive wolf is laying on back, often with tail tucked between legs, curls up front paws and lays ears back against the head. Wolves do this to show submission without going to the full blown out active submission. Mostly done by lower ranking wolves to all members of the pack that are higher in rank. (View Image) 

Active Submission: submissive wolf has ears flattened against head, tail, curled downward, and head lowered, walking crouched. This wolf is demonstrating to higher ranking members of the pack that he is no threat, and acknowledges their higher rank. Mostly done by higher ranking wolves to the alpha pair. (View Image) 

Running in Play: Ears at resting position, tail arched, mouth parted in a relaxed smile, running normally. This wolf is running, possibly in play, and appears at ease. (View Image) 

Running in Fear: Ears flattened against the head, tail tucked between legs, clenched smile, running with back arched and legs folded. This wolf is running, fearing for its safety. (View Image) 

Play Bow: Ears normal position, tail relaxed, rear raised, upper body on ground. This wolf is attempting to lure other wolves into playing with him! (View Image) 

Ambivalent Display: (mixed emotions) Fear and Aggression: tongue sticking out indicates submission, bared teeth indicate aggression, ears laid back mean fear. (View Image) 

Dominance: Tail raised high in display of dominance. The first line in intimidation by higher ranking wolves. (View Image) 

Relaxed: Tail in normal resting position. Indicates wolf is content and complacent. (View Image) 

Humility: shows a wolf is being non-threatening towards other non-alpha wolves. Used by higher ranking wolves towards other higher ranking wolves. (View Image) 

Fear or Submission: tail tucked firmly between legs. (View Image) 

Attack Mode: Tail pointing straight out at 180 degrees from body. This wolf is mad, and displaying his anger. Often followed by a snapping attack. (View Image) 



Senses 

Hearing (Auditory) 

Wolves have an excellent sense of hearing. Their large ears can detect the howls of other wolves up to 12 miles away. Wolves have a different range of hearing than humans do. Their range of hearing starts where humans do, and ends at a much higher frequency, so they can hear a larger range of sound. They tend to hear higher pitches that are inaudible to humans, up to 70,000 Hz, whereas humans can only hear up to 30,000 Hz. They also have more sensitive hearing than humans, and are able to hear the softest sounds that humans could not be able to hear. This wide range in hearing has its obvious advantages. Wolves need to communicate with each other over large distances, especially when hunting. They also need to be able to hear the sounds of their prey animals, which can be the soft shuffling of deer in the grass or a mouses' high-pitched shriek. Wolves also have very mobile ears, and can move them almost 180 degrees to tell where a sound is coming from. 

Smell (Olfactory) 

Wolves also have a terrific sense of smell. They use their keen sense of smell not only to locate prey, but as a means of communication between members of their own species. Wolves scent mark, and they are able to detect in these deposits of urine, feces, and facial gland secretions exactly who left it, their sex, their rank, their age, and what they were feeling at the time of the scent marking. In order to do this, wolves have an elongated snout, containing billions more scent receptors than humans. In order for wolves to detect smell, the nose has to be kept moist, so that it why wolves have a wet nose. Wolves' nostrils are holes with conjoining slits, which helps the wolf take in more air when it is running or feasting on a carcass. They can flare their nostrils by lifting up the flaps on either side of the nose, and take in more air. Another feature of the smell detection system is the vomeronasal organ, also known as the Jacobsen's organ. All animals have one, it is the lump in the back of the roof of the mouth. In some animals it is more specialized than others. For example, when snakes flicker their tongues, they pick up chemicals in the air then deposit their tongue in the Jacobsen's organ for detection. In other higher animals, it is believed to be used to detect certain chemicals, such as pheromones. It also lets the wolf know when it is time to stop eating. 

Eyesight (Vision) 

Wolves also rely on their eyesight, but not as much as cats do. Wolves, as well as most other carnivores, have developed a special layer of cells in the back of the eye behind the retina known as the tapetum lucidum. This special group of cells helps to reflect light that passes through the retina back outwards, which seems to increase the light's intensity. This is why wolves' eyes "glow in the dark". There are two types of receptor cells present in the eye: the rods, which detect light intensity, and the cones, which detect color. The color detection is less developed in wolves and dogs, but they can still see color. The position of the eyes is also important. Their eyes are set on the front of their face, which enables them to see depth, so they can locate their prey with accuracy. Animals that have their eyes set on the sides of their heads, like horses, cannot see depth, but can detect movement in 360 degrees around them, and this is more important. Wolves also have a large range of eyesight; they have a vision field of 270 degrees, compared to humans' 100 degrees. 


Evolution 

All the world's mammals that exist today evolved from small insectivorous rat-like animals that began to evolve during the Cretaceous period. At the end of the age of dinosaurs, some 65 million years ago, these animals now had the opportunity to evolve and become more specialized. The order Carnivora began to emerge approximately 60 million years ago, during the Paleocene period. The primitive carnivores that made up this group were called miacids. This common ancestor gave rise to all dogs, bears, seals, cats, hyenas, weasels, and civets. About 48 million years ago, the suborders of Feliforma and Caniforma arose from the miacids. 

Canids originated in the late Eocene more than 40 million years ago. They are the most ancient group of carnivores, and the first to evolve from the miacids. The family Canidae had three major co-existing radiations, represented by the subfamilies of Caninae (modern dogs), Hesperocyoninae (ancient canids), and Borophaginae (hyena-like canines). 

The subfamily Hesperocyoninae was an archaic group of canids that originated and remained in North America. They existed about 40 million years ago, and looked like a cross between a fox and a weasel. They became extinct about 15 million years ago. From the Nothocyon line of the Hesperocyonids came Tomarctus, which gave rise to the Borophaginae. 

The second group, the Borophaginae, existed about 34 million years ago. Like Hesperocyoinae, they existed solely in North America. They were much larger than the Hesperocyonids, loooking like a cross between hyenas and dogs. They had very large, powerful jaws. They became extinct about 2.5 million years ago. 

The last group, Caninae, is the subfamily that gave rise to all the canids alive today. They existed at about the same time as the other two subfamilies, but did not flourish until about 15 million years ago, when the other two subfamilies began to wane. This group evolved solely in North America until the late Miocene (about 7 million years ago), when they crossed the land bridge into Asia. 

The canids that crossed the land bridge became the direct ancestors for the canids that existed there. These animals continued to cross over the land bridge, back and forth between the two continents. This is why there are grey wolves in both Eurasia and North America. 

There was a species of wolf that lived 400 thousand years ago called the Dire Wolf (Canis dirus). It was larger than today's wolves, and it coexisted with them. It became extinct 10,000 years ago. It had a completely different body structure than a modern wolf; it was more stocky, had shorter thinner legs, and resembled a hyena. It had an immense jaw structure, that would enable it to crush through bone. It may have filled a similar niche as the hyena, as a bone crushing scavenger rather than a hunter, because of its immense size and dimensions. They probably weren't too intelligent either. There have been more dire wolf carcasses found in the La Brea tar pits in California than any other animal: 3,600 dire wolves, to be exact. 

Besides the dire wolf, several other wolf lineages arose around the same time period. Canis edwardsii, was the first North American wolf to evolve, about 1.5-1.8 million years ago. This wolf was the one that evolved into the modern Canis lupus.

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Aurora_Hellstormm
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RE:Wolf Lingo
(Date Posted:06/25/2013 8:58 PM)

The Ranks and What They Mean 

I wrote up a list for anyone who does not understand the ranks, its simple .. just read and learn then ou know what your rank holds and what you do in the pack! :-) Its also for better understanding..Enjoy!!! 

Alpha~ The boss, One who eats first, leads the pack is the smartest and strongest. 

Beta~ The second in lead command , takes over when Alphas are away on hunting trip or genral bussiness. 

Gamma~ The Third in rank has alot of say in the pack and usually the Advisors of the apck for Alphas. 

Deltas~ They have alot of say as well as respect.. they are the organized part of the pack 

Epsilons~ Thye help assist in guarding the territory with the guardians when needed otherwise they help ther higher ranks attend certain duties. 

Guards~ They gaurd the boarders, greet new members into the pack and briung them back to the Alphas for approval. They will fight to the very end to protect Alphas and threir young, sometimes other pack members depending upon rank and status. 

Zeta~ Thye are guards in training, the guardians train them and teach them what to do when danger approaches and to greet new members as well as protect the pack 



Theta~ These guys are the peace keepers of the pack and try to avoid all fights and will try and break them up. 

Iota~ They are the healers of the pack and help assits with pups as well as wounds, of the ill. 

Kappa~ They assist in hunts as well as helping care for the young. 

Hunters~ They hunt for food for the pack and bring it back to the dens. 

Lambda~ The hunters in training, usually a younger wolf. 

Omikron~ They keep a close eye on the newer members, as well as assist the scouts scouting the boarders if needed too . 

Scouts~They watch out for danger and let the Alphas know if danger approaches..They are the spies of the pack and will be sent out upon duty to spy on an enemy or spread word to an allie. 

Sigma~ They are the teachers of the young the teach them about pack laws and what ranks are what they also assist in the young if there are to many. 

Tau~ The workers of the pack They are to attend any duty the alpha or higher ranking member asks them to do . 

Omega~They are the lowest rank of the pack they are picked upon , beaten, and starved half the time, they scrounge for food , they are usually members who lived alone all thier life and are new to pack life until they earn rank . No one wants this rank .! Even the pups have rank over them.!

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~ I Am Wolf ~

I am wolf, I am one of a kind
I have been here since ancient time
Wakan Tanka Blesses me to be
My kind will always run wild and free

It is my nature to avoid you, I am human shy
You hunt me from helicopters across the sky
Then you shoot at me as I try to flee ... Why?
Why does your kind wish my species to die?
We wolves run together in a family pack
Always guarding ourselves against attack
I do not attack your home or farm
I only attack when you intend wolf harm

Wolf has no markets or stores for food supply
We hunt the forests and where open fields lie
You speak and spread your untrue words
That we attack your live stock and herds
Why does man wish to kill wolf by his lying?
We only take lives of old, weak and already dying
You hunt and kill for sport and greed
We only hunt when our families have need

You place animal head trophies upon your wall
to make your egos walk vain and tall
Wolf needs no trophies for others to see
We only wish to live and preserve our family ...
We mate for life and survival just as you ...
We grieve for our lost ones same as you do
Why can we not share a new dawn ....
Let me be free to howl the moon my song

Loyalty and courage shines from my eyes
I am spirit of the wild that never dies
I am brother wolf, asehi ... I am he
I will always run the winds free ...

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