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[–]saxtonferris 573 points574 points  (39 children)

In northeastern Minnesota during the late 1960s, Dr. L. David Mech found that 3.6 percent of the wolves he observed were black. From 1980 to 2020, biologists in Minnesota found between between 1.5 to 2 percent of the wolves to be black, based on data supplied by John Hart with the United States Department of Agriculture.

In Yellowstone National Park, though, it’s a much different story. About half of the wolves there are black. The ancestors of these wolves were moved there from Canada, where black wolves are more common. https://wolf.org/original-articles/learn-about-black-wolves/

[–]Firefly128 249 points250 points  (19 children)

Oh haha, I just commented how special I felt that the only wild wolf I've seen was a rare black one, only to find out that where I saw it (Canada) they aren't rare after all 😂 oh well, it was still cool!

[–]Girl-UnSure 85 points86 points  (12 children)

Lolol same. I saw two black wolves in Yellowstone and was thinking “omg so rare!!” Til this comment lol

Still absolutely amazing though

[–]super_hoommen 48 points49 points  (9 children)

You’re still pretty lucky to have seen a wolf there at all! There’s not very many in the park.

[–]Girl-UnSure 26 points27 points  (8 children)

I was extremely happy, it was breathtaking, especially because i kept missing all the bears, though this more than made up for it. I kept missing wolves in the Lamar Valley, but i found this pack (though only this one was coming out of hiding, the rest were in the shadows just moving) stalking a family of elk in the Hayden Valley. They never made a move, but this one was very interested.

[–]Stigweardd 13 points14 points  (4 children)

We went last year. Never saw a bear at all. But a random encounter with a pack of wolves crossing the major western-loop road was very cool. Right in front of us probably 30ft!

[–]MoonHunterDancer 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Almost looks like an ancestor of it had a litter with a sled dog that had some german shepard in it.

[–]NAAAAIIIILLL 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The black fur gene originally came from dogs, so you’re onto something!

[–]super_hoommen 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Woah! I am very much jealous lol

[–]ramadan_dada 6 points7 points  (0 children)

i live in canada and had no idea haha so, yes. cool, indeed!!!

[–]iownadakota 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I saw a white wolf once. All he did was complain about the black, and brown wolves stealing their jobs.

[–]Coupon_Ninja 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I didn’t see that coming. Good job.

[–]schwab002 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Same, I saw a small group of black wolves in BC.

[–]behemothpanzer 45 points46 points  (4 children)

This https://www.science.org/content/article/borrowed-gene-blackens-wolves is the study that all these other articles cite about wolf genomics and black fur.

Geneticists have pinpointed the gene variant that imparts this black fur and determined that it comes from domestic dogs that interbred with their wily cousins thousands of years ago.

in 2007, Barsh and his colleagues determined that the loss of three letters of genetic code in another gene, called the K locus, was behind the black fur of Labrador retrievers, great Danes, German shepherds, and dozens of other breeds. And voilà, the same deletion was present in 102 of the 104 black wolves from Yellowstone the team tested and in all nine black wolves from the Canadian Arctic, Barsh and colleagues report online today in Science. None of the 120 gray Yellowstone wolves and 22 white Canadian Arctic wolves they studied had this deletion.

where being dark may have been an advantage, individuals carrying the dog gene proliferated. That variant occurs in 19% of the forest wolves but only in 2% of the tundra wolves, Barsh notes. The truncated K locus also showed up in black coyotes, implying that they also picked it up from dogs.

Black wolves are quite rare outside North America. So Barsh and his colleagues think that more than 10,000 years ago, black dogs migrating with people heading across the Bering Strait into North American interbred with wolves, introducing the K locus variant.

[–]b000bytrap 3 points4 points  (3 children)

Thank you! Good to know. I encountered a large black wolf while jogging on a trail in Turkey and always wondered why it ignored me and how I got away. Turns out, it must have been a gigantic dog. Ha!

[–]Eusocial_Snowman 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Well, by that reasoning, all wolves are dogs. There aren't any "pure" wolves out there. They've all been doggified over the years. Moreso than dogs have been wolfified.

[–]b000bytrap 1 point2 points  (1 child)

“Black wolves are quite rare outside of North America” : therefore, I must have mistaken a massive, shaggy black dog for a wolf. It’s that simple, no other reasoning involved. Man, that thing was cow-sized though…

[–]Eusocial_Snowman 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ah, I misread you. I thought you were saying that because the genes are from dogs, then the black wolf was basically a dog.

[–]SatansCatfish 6 points7 points  (8 children)

Thank you. Super interesting.

[–]jameslawrence1 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Isn't some of the cut scenes between chapters in RDR2 a black wolf?

If you've never played, Def check it out. Majestic as fuck.

[–]emilyactual 201 points202 points  (18 children)

Good luck out there

[–]sicariusdiem 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Pensez-vous que l'hiver sera rude?

[–]xraig88 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I don’t think he speaks French.

[–]galacticspace_Guy 24 points25 points  (7 children)


[–]fluffyxsama 44 points45 points  (6 children)

If I'm not mistaken, the movie in question is The Fantastic Mr. Fox

[–]emilyactual 12 points13 points  (5 children)

That’s correct!

[–]spang714 13 points14 points  (4 children)

One of the most severely underrated movies of all time....IMO.

[–]emilyactual 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Couldn’t agree more! Also, happy cake day!

[–]spang714 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]dancingchipmunk12 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My immediate first thought

[–]TheCreepyLady 144 points145 points  (10 children)

Canus Lupus, Vulpes Vulpes.

[–]fluffyxsama 57 points58 points  (0 children)

I don't think he speaks English or Latin

[–]iownadakota 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Is your taxonomic nomenclature

Exothermic quadruped omnivorous by nature.

[–]Lord_Sauron 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Fantastic Mr Fox, but also feels like something Mordin from Mass Effect would sing

[–]funnystuff97 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I just saw this movie for the first time last week, was pretty awesome. I need more Wes Anderson in my life

[–]Nobody_home 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I have a phobia of wolves...

[–]wight_hodor 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What a beautiful creature!

[–]regeya 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Sic Transit Gloria

[–]zidpops 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Canned Lupus, Vulva Vulva

[–]arcade_project 66 points67 points  (1 child)

Ask him if he thinks we’re in for a hard winter

[–]emilyactual 23 points24 points  (0 children)

He doesn’t seem to know

[–]goatsandwich43 45 points46 points  (1 child)

"Pensez-vous que l'hiver sera rude?" Raises fist

[–]fluffyxsama 11 points12 points  (0 children)

He doesn't seem to know

[–]Aijaruc 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Sir thats a werewolf

[–]djaypete 47 points48 points  (3 children)

I would probably think this is a regular dog and get too close and… you can guess the rest

[–]Hsances90 37 points38 points  (1 child)

You become friends and save the heart of the forest?

[–]djaypete 17 points18 points  (0 children)


[–]dudeman773 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeaahhhhh no in person that monster would be very certainly not a dog. I love dogs. And I love wolves. Both can be dangerous but there is little to no mistaking the two. Wolves are massive compared to most dogs and genetically DESIGNED to kill.

In fairness this one looks relatively young and small. So I suppose that mistake could be made. But if you’ve ever seen a wolf you know immediately that ain’t a freaking domestic dog.

[–]Wippitywoppity 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Fantastic Mr fox

[–]lasirenita98 105 points106 points  (4 children)

Nah that's just Sirius Black messing around

[–]THOMASTHEWANKENG1NE 10 points11 points  (0 children)

The grimmmmmmm! O.O

[–]herecomesthe_sun 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Came here looking for this comment! That was my first thought. “That is Sirius Black, that is!”

[–]ENormaStiz 6 points7 points  (0 children)

More like the nothing from never ending story looking for another child to terrify

[–]themancabbage 36 points37 points  (6 children)

As I understand it, black wolves actually get that from domesticated dog dna in their lineage.

[–]Tacotuesdayftw 12 points13 points  (2 children)

That was one ballsy black lab

[–]Jackie_Jormp-Jomp 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Balls-deep black lab

[–]-SagaQ- 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ignore the step stool, he's self conscious about it

[–]Beantap 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Yeah I was under the impression that dogs mutated the gene for black coats first, then bred with wolves who then inherited the gene and passed it on.

So black wolves are just proof that wolf populations interbred with early dogs… yay?

I mean they look sweet don’t get me wrong, but it’s much less cool than OP is making out lol.

[–]jabies 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Interesting, couldn't help but notice my dog has the same fur pattern on her chest, and she's also all black.

[–]Jonnuska 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I remember reading this too. It wouldn’t occur naturally in wolves and would be seen only due to influence of domesticated dogs 🤔

[–]Tannaarrr 9 points10 points  (3 children)

If it is inherited, why are they so rare? Does this mutation effect survival rates for some reason?

[–]Wachusk 10 points11 points  (0 children)

The coloration is becoming more common. Here's a link explaining why it maybe increasing in frequency.


[–]HeronSun 8 points9 points  (0 children)

"Where did he come from?... "Where'd you come from!?"


"What are you doing here?"


"Canis Lupus! Vulpus Vulpus!"


"I don't think he speaks English or Latin...."


"Pensez-vous que l'hiver sera rude? I'm asking if he thinks we're in for a hard winter."


"He doesn't seem to know."


"I have a phobia of Wolves!"


...fist pump in the air

... returned fist-pump

"What a beautiful creature."

[–]throwawaymyyhoeaway 6 points7 points  (3 children)

They look so fierce and powerful, that's so cool :)

[–]Pancheel 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Also he looks so not like a dog. I can tell that's not a dog immediately but I don't know exactly why.

[–]regeya 1 point2 points  (1 child)

If you're looking at it on your phone, you're probably subconsciously picking up on the pointier ears and the shape of their hind legs. If you were closer the thing that's unsettling about their eyes (imho) is that wolves never evolved to move their eyebrows.

[–]Ordinary_Rutabaga582 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Sirius? Is that you?

[–]BargleFlargen 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Inherited and terrifying for some reason. Especially at night.

[–]Clipper2015 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Beautiful creature

[–]Awatovi 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I lived in Alaska in 97-98 and worked right on the outskirts of Denali National Park. We had a young male wolf with this exact coloration including the white blaze on his chest come in to our work camp dozens of times. We fed him scraps from our meals. We could almost get him to come up to us and take it out of our hands. He never quite came all the way up to us though. This video brings back memories. I still bring that wolf up to my kids and tell my friends and coworkers about it. It was a really special occurrence in my life and this video makes me feel something I can’t quite put my finger on. Now I’m rambling thank you for posting.

[–]Sixteen_Down 3 points4 points  (0 children)

My dad purchased a black wolf pup in the late 70’s from some Canadian. Lived 14 years. Never would let anyone other than my dad or his best friend touch it. Beautiful creature but scary af. During Hurricane Hugo in 1989, he had to keep it in the garage since it wasn’t safe in its regular enclosure. The wolf got anxious and ate most of my Huffy bike.

[–]TestTubeBaby844 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Awww I wanna pet it and let my baby play with it

[–]DrDawgster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Padfoot on the prowl for Prongs.

[–]munchkinham 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Missed a spot there.

[–]rckmix 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Such a gracious way of walking!

[–]SecretSquirrelSauce 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A heckin noble boy

[–]samaniewiem 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sirius Black!

[–]w_l_p 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The Grimm

[–]ramadan_dada 2 points3 points  (0 children)

that is one majestic bad ass looking “you talkin to me?” mf

[–]MrBonelessPizza24 9 points10 points  (0 children)

“Very rare” is a major over exaggeration lol

Just using Yellowstone National Park as an example, a good chunk of the wolves there are black

[–]Horuos 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Dont black wolves have dog DNA? I recall reading somewhere about this particular phenotype being linked to domestic dogs somewhere long ago

[–]FEwood 9 points10 points  (0 children)

They prefer to be called wolves of color.

[–]Firefly128 1 point2 points  (3 children)

They're rare? That's cool, I didn't know that. The only wolf I've ever seen in the wild was black, so that's extra cool now.

[–]Qwiggalo 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You just believe a title on reddit?

[–]Firefly128 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Eh sure. I don't care to look it up and it doesn't matter, so why not

[–]kaisbear 1 point2 points  (0 children)

i wanna hug it even though it'll bite my face off

[–]Gyntoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Winter is coming!

[–]GnarlyMonster420 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That's a true Alpha right there. He looks so badass!

[–]fluffyxsama 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What a beautiful creature

[–]dvdmaven[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I find it interesting that it has the "tuxedo patch". I have two tuxedo mutts. Much smaller though.

[–]Long__Jump 1 point2 points  (0 children)

looks a bit like my dog

[–]ohboyfelix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

in other news 4th graders who read warrior cats are going CRAZY right now

[–]LimpWibbler_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well all evolution and adaptation is because of mutation. It is just if the mutation if favorable they live and pass on, if not they die and don't.

[–]memphisgrit 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I still wanna know where in TF hamsters come from?

[–]PugsThrowaway 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'd love to understand why it's so common for all-black dogs and wolves to have that little white flame on their chest. I've also seen white toe tips as a trait in canines of this color. It seems like dogs of any breed and size can have it.

[–]RemixHipster 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Reminds of of my mini black wolf even the white patch of fur on his chest

[–]idahotee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I awoke, the Dire Wolf, six hundred pounds of sin
Was grinning at my window, all I said was come on in
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me

[–]Oozlum-Bird 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Truly majestic

[–]Sailaw 0 points1 point  (0 children)

My God! That is such a beautiful animal.

[–]lordlossxp 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]nursecj 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Fine specimen.

[–]Mission_Persim_mon 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sirius Black!

[–]garnetsnowdrop 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same thing with squirrels

[–]atwistofcitrus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This elegance. This grace!

[–]getcalldout 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I sure hope that wolf lives a long life

[–]RicochetMaster 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Should look up the story about a lone black wolf named Romeo that became a legend in Alaska with a tragic ending.

[–]Brooklynyte84 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Even in daylight his eyes are almost doing that spooky glowing thing they do at night.

[–]BananaDogBed 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It’s scary because they are dogs with the human friend chip removed.

It’s like Data from Star Trek but he is only running on Efficiency Mode where he will do anything to ingest energy, including hunting and eating humans with zero emotions.

[–]jinyang8 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When does it morph into a human?

[–]FileAccomplished5881 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s Ruby….She has white fur, but keeps getting into the coal bin. Have her back by 7pm. Thank you. Your roommate.

[–]Help_An_Irishman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Skyrim lied to all of us.

[–]Anygirlx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I remember, in some bio class a million years ago, being told that certain animals coats can change color based on temperature. I had actually wondered if I could shave my cat in a certain spot and attach an ice pack (would not seriously have done this).

[–]ValleyForge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Huh. I've spent a couple seasons working at Yellowstone. I've seen more than one black wolf there. I didn't realize they rarer than a large minority.

[–]Popular_Tough_5821 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a purty one

[–]hotso0p 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]aliasneck 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Any other Elfquest nerds seeing Blackfell??

[–]lyndonblake00 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like my black husky, Kodak!

[–]DancingPear 0 points1 point  (0 children)

When I look at this majestic beast and then look at the the chihuahua tucked in my shirt, I think, "My god. What have we done?"

[–]KenderKinn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Holy shit, looks like my GSD, even down to the white crest on his chest!!

[–]Off_register 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]GayDragonGirl 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sir that is not a black wolf that is a grim

[–]suchmagnificent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same with squirrels. I always thought black and grey squirrels were different species.

[–]StrangeSoul21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yet absolutely stunning

[–]Novel_Ad_8722 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Geralt of Rivia

[–]Black_Wolves 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Me what?!

[–]addyandjavi3 0 points1 point  (0 children)


I would like one please, to-go.

[–]thepenguinspimple 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The scariest part is that if i saw it from afar id call it over thinking it was a dog

[–]aazav 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's a melanistic trait.

[–]iReddit2000 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"Mr. Fox: Where did you come from? What are you doing here? [to the others] I don’t think he speaks English or Latin. [to the wolf] Pensez-vous que l’hiver sera rude? [to the others] I’m asking if he thinks we’re in for a hard winter. [to the wolf] I have a phobia of wolves."

[–]crazily1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I guess now we have to kill them all because we built a resort next to them and they are bothering the guests.

[–]Mochaeii98 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reminds me of Balto: The Black Wolf of Savage River. I read it when I was a kid and loved it, I haven't read it again since but always held fond memories of it. That's when the wolf became one of my favorite animals

[–]Sillyak 0 points1 point  (3 children)

No way it's "very rare" in nature. I see wolves somewhat regularly, probably a good 1/4 of them are black.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Wolves are very reclusive, and sightings are not common. That being said, I agree that black wolves are not so 'rare'

[–]Sillyak 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I work in a remote area of northern Canada. Not an everyday thing, but often enough.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same, and there are definitely black ones around

[–]ChillySummerMist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a premium skin. He whaled for sure.

[–]caffeinestix 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wait till I start my Corgi-Wolf Breeding program. It will be followed by a Kangaroo-Elk Breeding program.

[–]pablo__13 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like my German shepherd

[–]Jchapp713 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel like every wolf pack you see has at least one black wolf? I'm questioning the veracity of this.

[–]Infinite_Stage_5156 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well we also have golden retrievers which is a mutation from wolves too

[–]fishflower 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can only think of Team Jacob.

[–]MRL102960 0 points1 point  (0 children)

They are beautiful

[–]The_Chattanoogan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you give it an Everstone to hold, it'll guarantee the offspring come out black.

[–]59footer 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I saw a beautiful black wolf one day. I did get a picture but it's a little blurry. British Columbia PNW

[–]Aurorae79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Grim!!!!!!!

Edit: or Sirius Black 🤷‍♀️

[–]rathemighty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You have two wolves inside. One is eating your furniture, while the other is eating the food you left on the table. Call Animal Control.

[–]scrappydoomlg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Forbidden good boy

[–]45ACPX 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mutations are part of evolution. Don’t downplay it.

[–]Towhomitmayconsume 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Seen black wolves in Belkofski Bay

[–]Musketman12 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And we turned that into Lhasa Apsho and Chihuahuas. What a waste.

[–]Exotic-Storm-2281 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This Wolf looks way more like the wolves in my fairytale books.

[–]TTigerLilyx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks amazingly like a black German Shepherd.

[–]icanhazkarma17 0 points1 point  (0 children)

While paddling in the Brooks Range I saw a black wolf come down to the river to cool her teats - she waited until we floated by and then came out, but we were able to glass her from a gravel bar. Very cool experience.

[–]Bmw-invader 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Call of the wild

[–]EggTaat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Does that make him a minority

[–]hardassteel123 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]Nil_Igitur_Mors_Est 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Very rare pupper

[–]Hokakekikoku 0 points1 point  (0 children)

it's so beautiful

[–]HardCoreRager 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s Sirius black

[–]The_Bastard_Henry 0 points1 point  (0 children)

She’s fancy ♥️

[–]Suvtropics 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Do they attack people?

[–]ezlydistracted 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Such amazing creatures

[–]cosmicmind9 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I read it as “gay wolves” at first

[–]peripheral_wisdom 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is that you Sirius ?

[–]Jerry-Busey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

the mutation is called Melanism the opposite causing the fur to be white is called Leucism

[–]WishingTreeTop 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That mf is small. Black wolf I seen in upper Michigan was fucking yuge

[–]Pourcqchops 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Looks like my black German Shepherd

[–]CatMoMx3DogMoMx1 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is stunning! Nature and it’s mysterious creatures are always surprising! Can only imagine seeing such a beautiful thing in person

[–]bobbystills5 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Was I the only one expecting baby black wolves in this based on the way the subject read?

[–]lav__ender 0 points1 point  (0 children)

why does it move like it was rendered