Research Paper on Endemic Species in South Carolina Red Wolves

Research Paper on Endemic Species in South Carolina Red Wolves

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“Red Wolves” The complexity of the world’s populations can never be truly understood and comprehended. The exceptional nature and detail of each organism in itself is beyond human grasp. However, a smart human being will continue to marvel at each different creation and the relationships that are established between them. Interdependencies that develop and persist among plants and animals alike will always offer different outlets to understand nature. Not only do plants and animals develop reliance upon one another, their existence also relies heavily upon the habitat they live in. The United States is home to countless species of animals and plants, each unique and valuable to their habitats. Because of the United State’s distinctive variety of environments, ranging from the streets of New York City, extraordinary mountain ranges, to the deserts of the West, many species are endemic to the United States. One of the most interesting endemic species the United States has to offer is the red wolf. Canis rufus , more commonly referred to as the red wolf, is a member of the Canidae family, also known as the dog family. The Canidae family consists of a total of thirty four species. The Canidae family is very widely distributed with species represented on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. Traditionally, members of the Canidae family are carnivores of medium size, but typically partake in more omnivorous dieting habits (Fahey). Typically, Canidae’s follow a distinct method of killing their pray; “Kills are made by grabbing for the nape of neck and tackling the prey to the ground. The neck grab is followed by a violent shake, which may dislocate the neck of the prey. Large prey may be immobilized by biting into the soft parts of the underbelly, often resulting in disembowelment and death from shock (Fahey).” There are numerous physical indicators of the Canidae family as well, such as, deep- chested bodies, elongated snouts, long limbs with claws, and an identifiable arrangement of teeth
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(Fahey). While arguably not a more prominent member of the Canidae family, the red wolf encompasses many of the traits typical of the Canidae family. The red wolf is one of the most publicly debated and controversial animals among top scientists and experts. While there is no definite answer, one of underlying questions arising from red wolves is the question of its’ own origin. Some scientists argue that the red wolf is not really a species at all, that they are merely a subspecies of the gray wolf. Perhaps the more dominate theory is the idea of the coyote and gray wolf hybrid –the idea that the red wolf is the result of crossbreeding between coyotes and gray wolves (Nemecek). Moreover, other scientists stick to the simple notion that the red wolf is its’ own species and merely a close relative of the
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course ENVR 200 taught by Professor Manke during the Fall '06 term at South Carolina.

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Research Paper on Endemic Species in South Carolina Red Wolves

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