Why is this Wolf's tail curly?

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GoldenBeauty
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Why is this Wolf's tail curly?

Post by GoldenBeauty » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:13 am

So I found this photo of the Lamar Canyon pack, and I couldn't help but notice one of the wolves has a very curly dog-like tail. Wolves are never suppose to have such curly tails. I found it interesting and maybe the wolf is actually a high content wolfdog? Or perhaps it's just an odd quirk. Or maybe wolves actually do come with curly tails?

Here's the entire image+a cropped one
https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/1 ... 00-c85.jpg

https://ibb.co/88sxsLF

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Re: Why is this Wolf's tail curly?

Post by DaniBeez » Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:24 pm

I'm no expert on wolves or wolfdogs, but I agree that wolf has an exceptionally curled tail, even for the carriage height at that moment!

That photo apparently originates from Wolves of the Rockies, a nonprofit advocacy group. I didn't find it on their main website, but I did find it on their facebook group. No discussion of the tail there though.

I also didn't find much academic discussion about curled tails in Yellowstone wolves or really any grey wolves, with respect to historic hybridization with dogs. I do agree that hybridization at some point in that wolf's ancestry may have caused this tail. How recently the hybridization occurred, I have no idea. I lean more to that theory than this animal being a first- or second-generation wolfdog.
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Re: Why is this Wolf's tail curly?

Post by GoldenBeauty » Tue Mar 31, 2020 10:27 am

DaniBeez wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 1:24 pm
I'm no expert on wolves or wolfdogs, but I agree that wolf has an exceptionally curled tail, even for the carriage height at that moment!

That photo apparently originates from Wolves of the Rockies, a nonprofit advocacy group. I didn't find it on their main website, but I did find it on their facebook group. No discussion of the tail there though.

I also didn't find much academic discussion about curled tails in Yellowstone wolves or really any grey wolves, with respect to historic hybridization with dogs. I do agree that hybridization at some point in that wolf's ancestry may have caused this tail. How recently the hybridization occurred, I have no idea. I lean more to that theory than this animal being a first- or second-generation wolfdog.

My guess is that the wolf is a 85%-95% content wolfdog. Here is an image of an 85% content wolfdog, as you can see the wolfdog looks pretty wolfy https://ibb.co/YBbbGJg. If the tail in the Lamar Canyon Pack photo wasn't curled, you'd just think it was an average wolf in it's summer coat. The skull still looks flat and thin for a wolf. Maybe the ears are a bit thin? But then again, the wolf is in it's summer phase. It's possible the Lamar Canyon Pack is made up of high content wolfdogs. When you view the original image, some of the other wolves have rather curled tails, but not to the extent of that one wolf I showed.

(Another Lamar Canyon Pack photo: https://ibb.co/kM2drCH)

ABNUS

Gender: Male
Species: Wolf (Canis lupus pambasileus)
Description: Black nose, Black fur, & dark amber eyes.
Personality (1 word): Mysterious.


LUMI

Gender: Female
Species: Dog (Siberian Husky)
Description: Pink nose, white fur, & blue eyes.
Personality (1 word): Gregarious.

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Re: Why is this Wolf's tail curly?

Post by DaniBeez » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:17 pm

Hard to say, although the other wolves in the pack are probably related to that individual, and would have a similar degree of hybridization, if any.

I was able to find images of other wolves that display a slight curl at the ends of their tails, similar to some of the tails in the Lamar pack image. The last one is an Arabian wolf. But none as curled as the one individual!

Image
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