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A lone wolf raises its head and lets out a howl on a winter's day.
Photo: Howling Wolf

Can you imagine being here in Yellowstone at dawn on a quiet morning? You've tramped through a new snowfall and now you wait upon a lonely ridge. And suddenly, you hear it—a cry that echoes across the valley and tingles your spine. It is the howl of a wolf, described by writer/biologist Aldo Leopold as an "outburst of wild sorrow and contempt for all of the world's misfortunes." Leopold went on to muse that although every living creature listens to that call, only a mountain has lived long enough to understand it. Perhaps he is right, but, today, let's start by learning a bit more about this fascinating animal, the gray wolf (Canus lupus).


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