1. In order for a new wolf cub to urinate, its mother has to massage its belly with her warm tongue.e
2. The Vikings wore wolf skins and drank wolf blood to take on the wolf’s spirit in battle. They also viewed real wolves as battle companions or hrægifr (corpse trolls).f
3. The earliest drawings of wolves are in caves in southern Europe and date from 20,000 B.C.b
4. Wolves do not make good guard dogs because they are naturally afraid of the unfamiliar and will hide from visitors rather than bark at them.g
5. The autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus (SLE), or lupus, literally means wolf redness, because in the eighteenth century, physicians believed the disease was caused by a wolf bite.f
6. Wolves are the largest members of the Canidae family, which includes domestic dogs, coyotes, dingoes, African hunting dogs, many types of foxes, and several kinds of jackals.a
7. Wolves run on their toes, which helps them to stop and turn quickly and to prevent their paw pads from wearing down.e
8. Wolves have about 200 million scent cells. Humans have only about 5 million. Wolves can smell other animals more than one mile (1.6 kilometers) away.b
9. A wolf pup’s eyes are blue at birth. Their eyes turn yellow by the time they are eight months old.e
10. Wolves tend to mate for life
11. A male and female that mate usually stay together for life. They are devoted parents and maintain sophisticated family ties.c
12.Wolf gestation is around 65 days. Wolf pups are born both deaf and blind and weigh only one pound.d
13. Under certain conditions, wolves can hear as far as six miles away in the forest and ten miles on the open tundra.a
14. Wolves were once the most widely distributed land predator the world has ever seen. The only places they didn’t thrive were in the true desert and rainforests.e
15. Among true wolves, two species are recognized: Canis lupus (often known simply as “gray wolves”), which includes 38 subspecies, such as the gray, timber, artic, tundra, lobos, and buffalo wolves. The other recognized species is the red wolf (Canis rufus), which are smaller and have longer legs and shorter fur than their relatives. Many scientists debate whether Canis rufus is a separate species.e
16. Immense power is concentrated in a wolf’s jaw. It has a crushing pressure of nearly 1,500 pound per square inch (compared with around 750 for a large dog). The jaws themselves are massive, bearing 42 teeth specialized for stabbing, shearing, and crunching bones. Their jaws also open farther than those of a dog.g
17. The North American gray wolf population in 1600 was 2 million. Today the population in North America is approximately 65,000. The world population is approximately 150,000.b
18. A hungry wolf can eat 20 pounds of meat in a single meal, which is akin to a human eating one hundred hamburgers.b
19. A wolf pack may contain just two or three animals, or it may be 10 times as large.e
20. Though many females in a pack are able to have pups, only a few will actually mate and bear pups. Often, only the alpha female and male will mate, which serves to produce the strongest cubs and helps limit the number of cubs the pack must care for. The other females will help raise and “babysit” the cubs.a
21. Lower-ranking males do not mate and often suffer from a condition of stress and inhibition that has been referred to as “psychological castration.” Lower-ranking females are sometimes so afraid of the alpha female that they do not even go into heat.d
22. An average size wolf produces roughly 1.2 cubic inches of sperm.b
23. Wolves evolved from an ancient animal called Mesocyon, which lived approximately 35 million years ago. It was a small dog-like creature with short legs and a long body. Like the wolf, it may have lived in packs.g
24. Wolves can swim distances of up to 8 miles (13 kilometers) aided by small webs between their toes.b
25. Between 1883 and 1918, more than 80,00 wolves were killed in Montana for bounty.d
26. Adolph Hitler (whose first name means “lead wolf”) was fascinated by wolves and sometimes used “Herr Wolf” or “Conductor Wolf” as an alias. “Wolf’s Gulch” (Wolfsschlucht), “Wolf’s Lair” (Wolfschanze), and “Werewolf” (Wehrwolf) were Hitler’s code names for various military headquarters.f
27. In the 1600s, Ireland was called “Wolf-land” because it had so many wolves. Wolf hunting was a popular sport among the nobility, who used the Irish wolfhound to outrun and kill wolves. The earliest record of an Irish wolfhound dates from Roman times in A.D. 391.f
28. Recent scientists suggest that labeling a wolf “alpha” or “omega” is misleading because “alpha” wolves are simply parent wolves. Using “alpha” terminology falsely suggests a rigidly forced permanent social structure.c
29. Although wolves are usually afraid of humans, they will respond to human howls
30. Biologists have found that wolves will respond to humans imitating their howls. The International Wolf Center in Minnesota even sponsors “howl nights” on which people can howl in the wilderness and hope for an answering howl.b
31. Wolves have historically been associated with sexual predation. For example, Little Red Riding Hood, who wears a red cape that proclaims her sexual maturity, is seduced off the moral path by a wolf. The sex link endures in common clichés, such as describing a predatory man as “a wolf” or a sexy whistle as a “wolf whistle.”f
32. Biologists describe wolf territory as not just spatial, but spatial-temporal, so that each pack moves in and out of each other’s turf depending on how recently the “no trespassing” signals were posted.d
33. The Greek god Apollo is sometimes called Apollo Lykios, the wolf-Apollo, and was associated with the wind and sun. In Athens, the land surrounding the temple of Apollo became known as the Lyceum, or the “wolf skin.”f
34. In 1927, a French policeman was tried for the shooting of a boy he believed was a werewolf. That same year, the last wild wolves in France were killed.f
35. When Europeans arrived in North America, wolves became the most widely hunted animal in American history and were nearly extinct by the beginning of the twentieth century. The U.S. Federal government even enacted a wolf eradication program in the Western states in 1915.a
36. Dire wolves (canis dirus) were prehistoric wolves that lived in North America about two million years ago. Now extinct, they hunted prey as large as woolly mammoths.e
37. A wolf can run about 20 miles (32 km) per hour, and up to 40 miles (56 km) per hour when necessary, but only for a minute or two. They can “dog trot” around 5 miles (8km) per hour and can travel all day at this speed.g
38. The smallest wolves live in the Middle East, where they may weigh only 30 pounds. The largest wolves inhabit Canada, Alaska, and the Soviet Union, where they can reach 175 pounds.e
39. Wolves howl to contact separated members of their group, to rally the group before hunting, or to warn rival wolf packs to keep away. Lone wolves will howl to attract mates or just because they are alone. Each wolf howls for only about five seconds, but howls can seem much longer when the entire pack joins in.c
40. A light-reflecting layer on a wolf’s eye called the tapetum lucidum (Latin for “bright tapestry”) causes a wolf’s eyes to glow in the dark and may also facilitate night vision. While a wolf’s color perception and visual acuity maybe be inferior to a human’s, a wolf’s eyes are extremely sensitive to movement.d
41. Ravens, or “wolf-birds,” seem to form social attachments with wolves
42. Where there are wolves, there are often ravens (sometimes known as “wolf-birds”). Ravens often follow wolves to grab leftovers from the hunt—and to tease the wolves. They play with the wolves by diving at them and then speeding away or pecking their tails to try to get the wolves to chase them.g
43. In ancient Rome, barren women attended the Roman festival Lupercalia (named for the legendary nursery cave of Romulus and Remus) in the hopes of becoming fertile.f
44. According to Pliny the Elder, a first-century Greek scholar, wolf teeth could be rubbed on the gums of infants to ease the pain of teething. He also reported that wolf dung could be used to treat both colic and cataracts.f
45. The Aztecs used wolf liver as an ingredient for treating melancholy. They also pricked a patient’s breast with a sharpened wolf bone in an attempt to delay death.f
46. During the Middle Ages, Europeans used powdered wolf liver to ease the pain of childbirth and would tie a wolf’s right front paw around a sore throat to reduce the swelling. Dried wolf meat was also eaten as a remedy for sore shins.f
47. The Greeks believed that if someone ate meat from a wolf-killed lamb, he or she ran a high risk of becoming a vampire.f
48. During the reign of Edward the Confessor, which began in 1042, a condemned criminal was forced to wear a wolf-head mask and could be executed on a “wolf’s head tree” or the gallows where a wolf might be hanged next to him.f
49. Werewolf (wer “man” + wulf “wolf”) trials (which can be distinguished from witchcraft trials) led to hundreds of executions during the 1600s. Men, women, and children—many of whom were physically and mentally handicapped—were put to death.f
50. The Cherokee Indians did not hunt wolves because they believed a slain wolves’ brothers would exact revenge. Furthermore, if a weapon were used to kill a wolf, the weapon would not work correctly again.f
51. In approximately the year 800, Charlemagne founded a special wolf-hunting force, the Louveterie, which remained active until 1789. It was reactivated in1814, and the last French wolf was killed in 1927.a
52. Britain’s King Edgar imposed an annual tax of 300 wolf skins on Wales. The Welsh wolf population was quickly exterminated.a
53. In 1500, the last wolf was killed in England. In 1770, Ireland’s last wolf was killed. In 1772, Denmark’s last wolf was killed.a
54. After hearing of “frightening spirits” in the woods with human features that walked on four legs, Reverend Singh in 1920 discovered a den with two cubs and two human girls, one around age 7 or 8, the other around 2. After being brought back to “civilization,” the younger one died within a year. Recently, authors have questioned the validity of this story as modern knowledge has revealed that wolf-like behavior is often seen in autistic or abused children.d
55. Sextus Placitus, in his fifth-century B.C. Medicina de quadrupedibus (Medicinals from Animals), claims that sleeping with a wolf’s head under one’s pillow would cure insomnia.f
56. In 1934, Germany became the first nation in modern times to place the wolf under protection. Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche’s (1844-1900) and Oswald Spengler’s (1880-1936) belief that natural predators possessed more vigor and virility than their prey, the protection was probably more for an “iconic” wolf than the actual wolf, particularly since the last wolves in Germany were killed in the middle of the nineteenth century.f
57. Wolves are one of the few animals that communicate using a great range of facial expressions
58. Unlike other animals, wolves have a variety of distinctive facial expressions they use to communicate and maintain pack unity.c
59. The Japanese word for wolf means “great god.”f
Between 6,000 and 7,000 wolf skins are still traded across the world each year. The skins are supplied mainly by Russia, Mongolia, and China and are used mainly for coats.a
60. In India, simple wolf traps are still used. These traps consist of a simple pit, disguised with branches or leaves. The wolves fall in and people then stone them to death.a
61. Wolves were the first animals to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act list in 1973.a
62. John Milton’s famous poem “Lycidas” derives its title from the Greek for “wolf cub,” lykideus.f
63. In the Harry Potter universe, werewolf Remus Lupin’s name is directly related to the Latin word for wolf (lupus) and suggests an association with one of the founders of Rome, Remus, who was suckled by a wolf. The dual nature of Lupin’s werewolf nature suggests that in the Potter realm, there are two sides to everything.f
64. The last wolf in Yellowstone Park was killed in 1926. In 1995, wolves were reintroduced and, after just ten years, approximately 136 wolves now roam the Park in about 13 wolf packs.b
65. Currently, there are about 50,000 wolves in Canada; 6,500 in Alaska; and 3,500 in the Lower 48 States. In Europe, Italy has fewer than 300; Spain around 2,000; and Norway and Sweden combined have fewer than 80. There are about 700 wolves in Poland and 70,000 in Russia.b
– Posted November 15, 2009
a Bailey, Jill. 2005. Animals under Threat: Gray Wolf. Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library.
b Brandenburg, James and Judy Brandenburg. 2008. Face to Face with Wolves. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
c Dutcher, Jim and Jamie Dutcher. 2005. Living with Wolves. Seattle, WA: Braided River.
d Grambo, Rebecca L. 2005. Wolf: Legend, Enemy, Icon. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, Inc.
e Leach, Michael. 2003. Wolf: Habitats, Life Cycles, Food Chains, Threats. New York, NY: Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers.
f Ménatory, Anne. 2005. The Art of Being a Wolf. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books.
g Reid, Mary E. 2005. Wolves and Other Wild Dogs. Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.
We just go back from Western Sustainability Exchange’s, Local Food Producers / Buyers Commerce Day in Billings, MT. It was a full day conference that brought together buyers and sellers of food that is local, sustainable, and organic. We met with may different companies that offer amazing products and here are a few that we are planning to share with our guests. Rancho Picante Montana Bison which is grass fed and finished, and certified organic . We plan to use their sausages in our breakfast. On the Rise Bakery is also a local bread maker out of Bozeman, MT that bakes old world bread and uses only Montana wheat and their breads are amazing. We are thinking about using their breads in our french toast cassearole and in for our sandwiches. We met with Cream of the West and are currently sampling a variety of their hot cereals. Montana Natural Lamb gave us samples that we took home and tried and it was the best lamb we have ever had! We may incorporate this lamb in to our future dinners offered to our guests here at the Yellowstone Basin Inn. Amaltheia Organic Dairy was their to offer us to sample of new goat cheeses. Right now we use their Chevre cheese in our sandwiches in our “Lunches to Go” and we are thinking about including other goat cheeses in our breakfast dishes.
Come and enjoy our breakfasts that offer all the above and more,
Greg & Sabina
We just got back from the “Professional Association of Innkeepers International” conference in Las Vegas, NV and WOW did we learn a lot. First of all, Social Media, Social Media, Social Media……
Thanks what it’s all about. We learned many things, met new colleagues and got information on lots of new products. We learned new aspects of pretty much everything (or at least it felt like it) management, event planning, advertising, media, cooking ideas, weddings, reservations systems, linens….. and the list go on and on. We hope to implement many of these ideas and products this summer.
So come visit us this summer to see what’s new and improved.
See you soon,
Greg & Sabina
Here are the dates:
January 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday
April 22 to 26 for National Park
August 25 for the National Park Service birthday
September 28 for National Public Lands Day
November 9 to 11 for Veterans Day holiday weekend
Come and enjoy,
We wish everyone a Happy New Year and we want to give you an update. We had a great summer season last year and look forward to this coming summer season.
Today is January 14 and the weather, when we got up was 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Everything is white, but there is just a little bit of snow in Gardiner, there is more in the Park. Its a bit chilly but the Park is beautiful in the winter and it is a great time to see the winter animals doing their thing. The weather does fluctuate a lot keep an eye out. Give us a call for a winter getaway at 800-624-3364.
Reservations for this summer season May 15th – October 14th is the busiest since we have owned the Yellowstone Basin Inn (June 2004). So, it is time to start thinking about your vacation here in Yellowstone to enjoy the World’s First National Park.
See you this summer,
Greg & Sabina Strauss – Yellowstone Basin Inn
Here is the lowdown on the different times of the year to vacation in Yellowstone.
Fall is nice and mellow. Depending on when you come, the Park (Yellowstone) is starting to close from the Summer season (some roads and different venues) usually start closing around the beginning of November. We usually do not have any snow and if we do it usually is gone in a day or two. It is a great time to enjoy the animals since they are trying to fatten up and are still quite active. They are starting to come to town (of Gardiner and the surrounding area) so it is fun to see them cruise the town. You can also enjoy the animals in Lamar Valley which is fun to enjoy year round. This is probably the best time of year to enjoy the Boiling River (a hot spring that is in a river in the Park by about three miles). The weather is usually mild and it is a joy to soak. In the fall/Winter we (at the Yellowstone Basin Inn) usually have only 4 units available. We do not offer breakfast or the hot tub during this time. All unit available have a refrigerator and microwave, kitchenette or full kitchen.
Winter is a fantastic time to come to Yellowstone. There are very few people here and that makes for a true animal experience. Lamar Valley is the place to be during the winter. You definitely need to be dressed right and bring a pair of binoculars. It is a spectacular theater of animal activity (seeing the wolfs chasing the elk, otters frolicking in the river, moose looking for food, and so on.). Boiling River is open and do not forget to wear your bathing suit under you warm clothes (we offer complimentary Spa towels that you can use at Boiling River). The Yellowstone Basin Inn is a short 45 minute drive to Lamar Valley (it is a great drive there, scenic with animal sightings along the way).
The Spring is a good time to be here depending on when. If you come early Spring (say April) the weather is fair ranging from cold and windy to snowy to mild. Bison could be seen giving birth at this time which is amazing to see. We officially open for the Spring/Summer/Fall season on May 15th and offer a full organic breakfast, the hot tub, incredible views of the Park and surrounding ranch lands, free calf roping lessons, and a concierge service. May is a good time to see many animals giving birth, enjoying the green countryside. The weather could be anything (so be ready). Beginning of June is probably the best time of year to be here since every animal in the park is active (bears are hungry, and everyone else is out having a great time). The weather usually is good with some years that are rainy. Boiling River is closed do to high water.
Summer is busy but fun. Summer usually starts mid-June and goes to the end of August. Yes, we all know the tourist season is upon us but it is a fun time to be here. People are having a great time enjoying their vacations and getting away from their regular lives. The highlights of the Park (like Old Faithful, Canyon, or the Lake) are very busy but are worth seeing. If you do not want crowds just walk 5 minutes in any direction and you usually will be alone and with a few people. So do not worry. Just take a walk or hike and the people will be gone. When you are driving and you see people stopped, you need to stop since they are usually looking at animals (this applies to any time of the year). Boiling River is open but usually to crowed to enjoy. Animal sightings are usually best in the early morning just at sunrise in Lamar Valley or Hayden Valley. August is usually the warmest month and the animal sighting are usually a hit or miss. The kids go back to school the last two weeks of august and most of the retired people do not come until after Labor Day, so if you are looking for a good deal in the Summer that is the time to come.
Early Fall (September & October) is a busy but mellow time. Many people but no kids. Most of the people here are retired and are not in a rush. So even if you go to the highlights in the Park there usually is not a problem. The hiking trails are usually empty. The heat of the Summer is gone but the weather is great and tepid. The animal sightings are increasing and it a fun time to be out and about. Bears are very active with gathering food and its a time when most of the animals look great from the long Summer of eating and relaxing. It is a good time to enjoy Yellowstone.
To find out more information or the make a reservation check out our website at: http://yellowstonebasininn.com/
We made it to another season here at the Yellowstone Basin Inn. The weather is changing with warm days and cool nights + a little smoke from the fires (the views are still amazing). A few nights ago we had below freezing weather but it has since warmed up. The elk are starting to bugle and the bears are coming down from the higher elevations. A lot of the birds have left the area for warmer southern grounds. That should be a sigh of cooler days ahead. We will wait and see. This is a great time to come and enjoy the Park.
We just got back from a hike down Uncle Toms Trail at the Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park. WOW, 327 steps straight down (do you know that is about 27 stories) and 2000 steps back up. It is great to see a different prospective of the lower falls. Make sure you want or can make it back up. It is truly a workout and not for everyone. I usually do not recommend this stair master to my guests unless they want a good workout. I enjoyed it, but I usually give guided information on the Park that offers high value and reward and this offers high expense also!
Come and Enjoy Yellowstone with us!
Greg – Yellowstone Basin Inn
Yellowstone Releases Summer Bison Population Estimate
Yellowstone National Park has completed its annual summer bison population
Three airplane surveys were conducted with a high count of the population
at 4,230 bison. There are approximately 2,600 bison in the Northern herd
and 1,600 in the Central herd this summer. There were about 600
calves-of-the-year observed in a June aerial survey.
This year’s observations represent an increase of nearly 14% over last
year’s count. The peak population estimate of 5,000 bison was recorded in
the summer 2005.
The observed rate of population change this past year is within the natural
range of expectation for wild bison.
This population estimate is used to inform adaptive management strategies
under the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). The IBMP is a
cooperative plan designed to conserve a viable, wild bison population while
minimizing the risk of brucellosis transmission between bison and cattle.
The cooperating agencies operating under the IBMP are the National Park
Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, the Montana Department of Livestock, the Montana Department of
Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the InterTribal Buffalo Council, the Confederated
Salish Kootenai Tribes, and the Nez Perce Tribe. More information on the
IBMP can be found at http://ibmp.info/.
- www.nps.gov/yell -
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