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February 16, 2011
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The "Wolf" Meme by xDember The "Wolf" Meme by xDember
It's come to my attention that a lot of people look at canine art, and if it happens to have a medium-to-long muzzle, medium-to-long fur, erect ears, long legs and a bushy tail...people seem to automatically assume it's a wolf.
...And not without reason, either, because absolutely tons of artists, even really well-known ones, tend to draw their "wolves" as something completely indistinguishable from any other similar canine, and I personally think that can greatly confuse other artists and art appreciators.

Yes, "style" is one thing, but if you're competent in your work, don't you think people should be able to tell your timber wolf apart from the average husky, or vice-versa, seeing as both are such drastically different animals?

Even if you're not some professional artist (and believe me, I'm not either) then this can still be a fun practice to see how well you can illustrate the differences between these "similar" canines. c:

I myself searched for ages trying to find a meme for this, and finally came to the conclusion that it was hopeless.
Rather than be disappointed, I decided to make my own instead.

What do you think? It's the first meme I've ever made, but I really hope that everyone enjoys it. x)

Choose-Your-Own ('advanced' row erased): [link]
Simplified ('advanced' row removed): [link]

White Background Version: [link]
Choose-Your-Own ('advanced' row erased) -- White Background Version: [link]
Simplified ('advanced' row removed) -- White Background Version: [link]

Don't forget to draw them in your own style! And try not to copy the photos if you can avoid it; I don't know how many, if any, are meant to be used as Stock, and I only put them there as an example of each breed.
Doing your own search for each one would definitely be best. ^^

Again, if you fill out this meme, please post a link to it, here in the Comments!
I really would absolutely love to see what people do with it. n_n
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Arctic and Mexican wolves are gray wolves. Saying "gray wolf" and "arctic wolf" in the same sentence is like saying "dog" and "pitbull", or "human" and "African American".

The "gray" wolf you have on the far left, if you want to be subspecies specific, is Canis lupus occidentalis, the Mackenzie Valley wolf.
Yes and no. The Gray Wolf (also confusingly called the timber wolf, but not necessarily the Eastern Timber Wolf) - Canis Lupus, is the originator of all subspecies of wolves. However, although a Mexican wolf and an Arctic wolf are a subspecies of gray wolf, not all gray wolves are Mexican or Arctic wolves. The gray wolf is still a distinct species of its own. I think you will agree that they have quite notable differences from each other.

I decided not to include Mackenzie Valley wolves, nor Eastern Timbers or Eurasian wolves because the diversity between individuals of these subspecies can make them very nearly identical to one another to the human eye, and attempting to illustrate the exact differences would be far too complex for most artists - however, if anyone did feel the need to add them into their own meme, that would be just fine of course.

Honestly, I truly would love to see someone with enough talent to accurately depict more highly-similar subspecies such as those.
I must say, your own work is...well, interesting.
Here's a distribution map of all gray wolf subspecies. Could you kindly point out where the "gray wolf" fits in?…

Sorry, I'm a little confused. I thought we already agreed that all subspecies of wolves were gray wolves?

Also, I might be wrong, but your link seems to be missing some?…
Yes, but you seem to be implying that there is a definitive "gray" wolf which does not have a trinomial name (that is, Canis lupus period, with no third name), when in reality no such animal exists. It's not an unusual mistake, but I've noticed that when many people refer to a "gray" wolf (like the one on your picture), they are in fact referring specifically to the Mackenzie Valley wolf (the kind used in the Yellowstone introductions). A simple edit of this deviation, listing the wolf on the top left as a Mackenzie Valley wolf would solve the problem instantly.

The cosmosmith page is outdated. Many of the listed subspecies are no longer recognised in the more recent edition of Mammal Species of the World, the reference point of all serious taxonomists.

Also, regarding the progenitor of all Canis lupus subspecies, the more likely candidate is actually the African wolf, Canis lupus lupaster, as it has been shown to be far older than all other gray wolf lineages. Gray wolves are actually a relative newcomer to North America.
If I had to go with the most common wolf, I would still stick with the common Gray Wolf - which would be the subspecies Canis Lupus Lupus, then - the Eurasian or European wolf.

Can you please link me to the original source of the photo used as an example for the gray wolf in this meme, which lists it instead as a Mackenzie Valley wolf? I gathered all of the images quite some time ago and I have since suffered a hard drive crash, so I've lost the URLs from which I collected them - but I am pretty sure it was not listed as a Mackenzie Valley (occidentalis).

Mackenzie Valley wolves seem a bit more distinct than gray or timber wolves, so I had not intended to include them as the "main example" - though they could always be added in by anyone who uses this, of course.

Yes, I had actually heard of the African wolf predecessor theory. It's interesting, but I'm no expert on genetics, nor should this meme be taken as such - it's a simple exercise for drawing differing types of wolves and wolf-like dog breeds.
Time doesn't permit me to provide you with the picture, but if it was listed as a gray wolf, then that would be no more incorrect than listing an Arabian wolf as a gray wolf. Calling it "gray wolf" is simply a generalisation, just as simply calling a Bengal tiger a "tiger" would be. If I were to guess, the pictured animal simply looks like the ones one sees photographed in Alaska/Canada/Yellowstone, which are nearly all C. l. occidentalis.
The gray wolf IS called the gray wolf, however. There are many names, but Canis Lupus Lupus - the Gray Wolf - the Common Gray Wolf - the Eurasian Wolf - the European wolf - are ALL the same wolf.

In fact, that same animal is often called the Timber Wolf as well, but yet it is not the same as Canis Lupus Lycaon (the Eastern Timber Wolf; also called the Eastern Gray Wolf, Eastern Canadian Wolf, Eastern Canadian Red Wolf or just Eastern Wolf).

I simply went with the most commonly used name used for that type of wolf. If you really have such a problem regarding classifications and common names for various subspecies of wolves, I'm sorry, but berating random people who do use the term "gray wolf" on a website for artwork is probably not the best course of action to take.

If you would like to use the meme, by all means, feel free to edit the text yourself or change any of the examples to a Mackenzie Valley wolf (Canis Lupus Occidentalis) instead. I won't mind at all.
(2 Replies)
basktball2022 Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist…

This was a great meme, although I only tried it when I was half-enthused, so it's not my best effort. Great job, though!
I hope you enjoyed it. Shame you don't like huskies, though. I've got four; they're wonderful dogs.
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