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Submitted on
September 5, 2010
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Camera Data

Make
NIKON
Model
COOLPIX P90
Shutter Speed
508905/100000000 second
Aperture
F/5.0
Focal Length
110 mm
ISO Speed
64
Date Taken
Sep 5, 2010, 1:27:53 PM
×
Big Blue by soyrwoo Big Blue by soyrwoo
Don't adjust your monitor; that wolf's eyes are blue.

It's a common (and totally, completely, and erroneous) misconception that adult wolves cannot have blue eyes.
Blue eyes are unusual in gray wolves, though not terribly rare; you'll find them once in a blue moon, but several times before the next solar eclipse. In fact, I have seen at least two blue-eyed wolves in person and several more in photographs.

Some say the blue-eye gene sometimes emerges, but only in leucistic wolves. The wolf above clearly isn't leucistic (he's a faded agouti), and another blue-eyed wolf has even darker markings.

Others say the gene comes from dogs.
Now this is something I don't know, but I'll leave you with this: wolves do not naturally come in black. The black fur gene came from dogs, but it survived so many generations that many "pure" wolves today are black.
None of the blue-eyed wolves I know have dogs or wolfdogs in their known ancestry.

And yet others would say this must be shopped.
I'd tell them to get their heads out of their textbooks and take a look at the real thing from time to time.



Taken at the Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria, Illinois.
Possibly the best park ever, that one! :D

Edit: Additional information:
Other photos of these wolves: [link] [link] (with absolutely no editing/post-processing/trick photography)
They are eastern timber wolves, and yes, I really want to know why they have blue eyes. It's killing me.


Edit 2: a lead?
Some biologists now claim that the eastern timber wolf or eastern wolf may be a separate species, an older resident of North America than the gray wolf and more closely related to coyotes and red wolves.
Some coyotes (and red wolves) have been found with blue eyes. The last image on this page is especially interesting: [link]
As is this photo: [link]


Here's a photo someone else took of one of the wolves I photographed: [link]

If you have any information or even theories as to why these wolves have blue eyes, please comment!
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:iconshadowwolf01124:
ShadowWolf01124 3 days ago  New member Hobbyist General Artist
it is true that wolves will sometimes retain their blue eyes, but not all that often. people have been arguing that adult wolves do not have blue eyes, which indeed is false. wolves can have blue eyes, but not like the ordinary Siberian husky which almost always have blue eyes. wolves eyes come in a range of colors such as yellow, orange, gold, amber, copper, gray and brown, but it is at times blue will often show up on an adult wolf. don't worry about why the wolves in these photos have blue eyes. it is not a common thing that happens all the time and it is not rare either. they just sometimes retain their blue eyes and nothing more. they do not have to be mixed with dogs or anything to have these blue eyes, sweetie. thanks.  
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:iconofficer495:
officer495 Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow... animals are so awesome, though those dudes that think there no way a wolf could have blue eyes, i so want to throw a stick at them right now -_-
is that normal? O_o
Reply
:iconsoyrwoo:
Is what normal? The blue eyes or wanting to throw sticks at people? :)
Generalizations don't work too well in biology; there are usually exceptions to the rules somewhere out there. While it would be correct to say that wolves generally do not have blue eyes, it's incorrect to say there's no way an animal could have blue eyes and be considered a wolf.
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:iconofficer495:
officer495 Nov 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lol the wanting to throw sticks at people which is odd for me its normally a book O___o so back to topic,
i just learned that eye color can also reflect of the color of skin some one has (f they have light eyes)
might be his eyes are reflecting of his light fur color of some thing like that,
Reply
:iconsoyrwoo:
Oh, but the poor books! D:

I don't think fur and eye color are so related in wolves. This guy used to be a normal agouti, but has since faded. His one blue-eyed brother is a non-faded agouti.
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:iconprofelisaurata:
ProfelisAurata Apr 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
quote: "I really want to know why they have blue eyes. It's killing me."
Why not simply answering: environmental conditions or mutation? Brimstone butterflys are usually bright yellowish but they can be black as well (when they're living in a city) ;)
Reply
:iconsoyrwoo:
It's likely a mutation of some sort, but what I want to know is how it came about. Since two of the wolves in that generation have blue eyes, we can assume it was inherited. But neither parent has that phenotype, so it must have been inherited from both parents. Unless the parents are closely related, this suggests that more wolves within the captive population have the blue eye allele.

So I'm curious about the allele's origins: is it only common in captive populations? Did it originate in coyotes or dogs, then enter the Eastern wolf population through crossbreeding? Or did it come about independently in each of those groups?

That's why; simple just ain't gonna cut it here! XD
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:iconhemlockxd:
he looks depressed or curious
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:iconsoyrwoo:
Heheh, he was just waiting for noms :D
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:iconwolfyone:
Wolfyone Feb 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful wolf. There's a wolf named Reudi at Wolf Park who has light green eyes that look blue in a lot of the photos I've seen of him. But blue or green, these wolves have striking, unusual eyes. Great photo.
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