LOOK: Wolf Grows Extra Werewolf-Like Teeth Due to Rare Mutation

by Jon D. B.
Wolf, Canis lupus, howling Minnesota, North America. (Photo by: David Tipling/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Conservationists with the Voyageurs Wolf Project (VWP) have made a “super rare” discovery in one of their wolves just in time for Halloween. The result? An intense, werewolf-like snarl from a truly stunning wolf.

“Must be something in the water because wolves are growing extra teeth now,” Voyageurs offers to the Twittersphere. “Check out Wolf P2L’s funky extra upper incisor, which appears to be super rare (see below). We certainly haven’t ever seen anything like this before,” they offer.

The project, which studies wolves in Voyageurs National Park and the Greater Voyageurs Ecosystem of Minnesota, has reached out to other lupine biologists to find out just how rare this phenomenon is. And the answer is very. Take a look:

“And we asked several wolf biologists who have studied wolves for decades if they had ever seen this. They all said they hadn’t,” VWP adds. “So we think it is fair to conclude this is pretty rare occurrence as we don’t know of a single other instance of this.”

As for the wolf in question, P2L is a beautiful brindle-coated gray wolf from the ecosystem’s Lightfoot Pack. VWP conservationists collared P2L as a yearling in the spring of 2022, taking the photos we see today during. It’s important to see these photos alongside, too, as these canines are certainly not the monstrous werewolves of fiction. They are a remarkable and eerily beautiful keystone species of which humanity shares a long, ancient history.

But that history has nothing to do with an extra tooth. And as VWP states, “We suspect some will think this abnormality is related to inbreeding but there is no evidence at all that this is the case.”

Extra Teeth or No, Voyageurs National Park Wolves are Remarkable

In reality, a wide variety of mutations, genetic disorders, and other random happenings of nature that can cause an extra tooth. Gray wolves don’t need wild mutations to be fascinating, however. Like our dogs that descended from their species, grays come in a wide variety of coats and colors all over. Their eyes can be deep amber, bright yellow, and even a stark hazel green. And their coats range from jet black, grays and deep browns to bright white and brindle. And very rarely, a blonde wolf is born.

Such was the case for VWP’s other rare sighting this October. “The first “blonde’ wolf we have captured on camera here! Certainly a very rare coat color for wolves in this area as we have thousands of videos and none quite like this one,” they caption their footage featuring the gorgeous canine.

“And by blonde we mean the light, creamy colored fur around the neck and shoulders,” VWP offers. “And thanks to our friends @naturespy for providing trail camera supplies to our project so we can capture and share moments like this with everyone!”

For more on the grays of the Voyageurs ecosystem, be sure to see our Voyageurs National Park Wolf Population on the Rise as More Pups Survive next.