For hundreds of years, wolves have fascinated human beings. While villagers of old were so fearful of the creatures that they invented stories of werewolves, today we tend to appreciate them for their not-so-supernatural qualities.
Whether we see them inside of zoos, animal sanctuaries, or roaming the woods and mountains in the wild, their beauty is undeniable. However, there’s more to wolves than what you already know.
While most wolves spend their time hunting in packs on the land, there is one type of wolf who breaks all of the rules. Keep going to find out all about this totally singular breed…
There are many different types of wolves who roam the wilds of America and beyond. These packs are made up of fearsome predators who easily dominate their prey. However, there’s one type of wolf that savors a different sort of treat…
Along the Pacific Coast of British Columbia in Canada live the sea wolves! They get their name for their preferred diet: all they eat is fish, with salmon being a particular favorite. However, their passion for pescetarian living isn’t the only way these wolves are different from their relatives…
According to Ian McAllister, the photographer who has studied these animals for more than 20 years, “DNA studies show that these wolves are genetically distinct from their continental kin.” So, while they may be wolves in name, they’re actually something quite different.
“They are also behaviorally distinct,” said Ian, “swimming from island to island and preying on sea animals. They are also morphologically distinct—they are smaller in size and physically different from their mainland counterparts.”
The wolves favorite foods are clams, mussels, and salmon. They have access to plenty of land-dwelling creatures upon which to feast, but for some reason—probably their genetic makeup—they prefer the saltier things in life.
Scientists and researchers believe that the wolves would eat even more salmon than they do already if it were not for the presence of large bears. The sea wolves (wisely) leave the fish alone when the bears are around.
These unique wolves aren’t shy, either! Ian was able to swim right up to them, snorkel firmly in place, in order to get some truly amazing shots. “The curious canines approached me so closely that I could hear them grunting into my snorkel. I took several frames, then pushed back into deeper water without daring to look up,” said Ian.
It goes to follow that, since they are so passionate about all things aquatic, these wolves would be excellent swimmers. They can swim up to seven miles in a single stretch! Forget worrying about sharks; it’s sea wolves you’ve really got to be looking out for!
Thanks to Ian’s diligent research and beautiful photographs, we can all finally see the magical world in which these wolves live. Can we get as close as Ian did? Likely not—but these photographs sure can make it feel that way.
So the next time you travel to the coast of British Columbia, keep your eyes peeled! Who knows, you might just get a chance to catch a peek of one of Mother Nature’s most unique animals around. These guys are a sight to behold.
Who knew that there were wolves who lived this way! It’s crazy to imagine them swimming around and hunting for their dinner. These photographs give such an amazing peek into their lives!
Share these rare wolves with your friends below!