Winter Calls for Wardrobe Change for Wolves
As the days become shorter and we prepare for the onset of cold days and even colder nights by wearing jackets and scarves, wolves adjust to the changing seasons as well – but they don’t need to search for warm outerwear. They grow their own!
A wolf’s coat consists of two elements: the long guard hairs that form the visible outer layer of the fur and the downy undercoat meant to keep a wolf comfortable in cooler temperatures.
Wolves shed the insulating undercoat during spring, and as autumn approaches, the undercoat thickens.
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 their body chemistry, wolves are looking forward to snowy days on the horizon!