The winter is coming!

Mara Havinga (Intern)



As the days get shorter the temperature starts to go down. Us humans are adding more and more layers to their clothing; gloves, hats, boots, whatever helps with trying to stay as warm as possible when the snowy season starts.  The wolves at the Wolf Science Center however don't seem to have this problem. In the picture you can see Taima taking a nap in the middle of a snowfall! Notice how the snowflakes stay frozen on her fur? As the months go by these guys have gotten into their wintercoats. This thick layer of fur makes them look extra fluffy but it is also incredibly useful! Their fur actually has two layers: An undercoat; soft and dense to keep the wolf warm, and an outer layer made of guard hairs; coarse long hairs that ward of the rain, wind and snow.  Thanks to this wooly coat wolves are very well insulated and barely lose any heat in this chilly time of year.  
As you can see in the picture Taima has curled herself up into a tight ball before resting, this position also helps with staying warm! Putting the tail over their nose and feet helps capturing the air exhaled by the wolf. The fluffy tail holds onto the warm air exhaled and filters the cold air coming in from the outside.  When it gets even colder they might curl up and intentionally let themselves get snowed in. As they get more and more covered by the snow, this snowy blanket helps regulate the temperature and makes sure they stay nice and toasty.