Witchcraft or just plain daft: Baffling wolf superstitions from the ages

From aphrodisiacs to poorly-playing instruments, wolves have been the subject of some truly bizarre beliefs. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to get better with time! To start with the least ridiculous, Pliny the Elder, two years before Vesuvius, wrote in his Natural History collection that if a wolf and man encountered one another, the man would … Continue reading Witchcraft or just plain daft: Baffling wolf superstitions from the ages

“Rainbow” Wolves Show Heat Loss From Mange

This time, it’s temperature that can regulate wolves. A collaborative study by the U.S. Geological Survey used thermal imaging cameras to test how sarcoptic mange affects heat loss in Yellowstone’s wolves. The results were as surprising as they were colourful. Caused by the mite Sacroptes scabiei, sarcoptic mange is highly contagious and causes severe itching, skin lesions and hair loss. Another … Continue reading “Rainbow” Wolves Show Heat Loss From Mange

Illegality breeds contempt: the hybridisation of wolves and Czechoslovakian wolf-dogs in Italy

A four-year investigation by the Public Prosecutor of Modena has uncovered an illegal trade in wolf hybrids. To mitigate bone and hip problems in the breed, and create a more ‘wolf-like’ appearance to impress dog show judges, unscrupulous breeders have been crossing Czechoslovakian wolfdogs with wild wolves. But if wolfdogs are descended from a  German … Continue reading Illegality breeds contempt: the hybridisation of wolves and Czechoslovakian wolf-dogs in Italy