Fall is here bringing shorter days and cooler temperatures! We’re not the only ones who change their wardrobe with the seasons, wolves do too! A wolf’s coat consists of two elements: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of the coat and the soft dense undercoat. The coarse guard hairs determine a wolf’s appearance/color and works like a raincoat, protecting a wolf from rain, snow, and sleet. The undercoat is usually gray in color and keeps the animal comfortable in cold temperatures. A wolf’s insulating undercoat begins to fall out like sheets of soft wool in the spring and a fresh under-layer thickens during the fall. The shedding cycle is driven by hormone levels that rise in the spring with the onset of longer days and decrease as day lengths shorten in the fall. Thanks to the photoperiodic rhythm of his body chemistry, Atka is already prepared fall and likely looking forward to even colder temperatures on the horizon. Enjoy the day Atka!
Learn more about why and when wolves shed.