Q:

What are the eating habits of the gray wolf?

A:

Quick Answer

Gray wolves tend to be opportunistic feeders, but they mainly hunt deer, caribou, moose, elk, bison, sheep and other medium-to-large mammals. Their diet varies depending on what is available. Gray wolves also typically prey on small mammals (such as rodents), reptiles, birds, fish and large insects. When necessary, gray wolves use fruits and vegetables to supplement their food intake.

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Full Answer

Gray wolves usually hunt in packs of six to 10 wolves. Cooperative hunting allows them to successfully kill large animals. Packs of gray wolves can travel over 12 miles in a day to search for food. In just one feeding session, gray wolves can eat 20 pounds of food. They eat until they are completely satiated. Besides hunting they also scavenge for dead animals. In areas with people, many gray wolves subsist on livestock and garbage. Gray wolves have also preyed on humans, albeit rarely.

To prepare for fall and winter, when food isn't as readily available, gray wolves with a steady food supply store fat in various areas throughout their bodies. They are capable of numerous feedings throughout the day as the digestion process takes only a couple of hours. This allows them to ingest large quantities of meat without wasting it. Gray wolves often eat melons, berries, apples and pears during the fruits' growing seasons.

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Related Questions

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    What is being done to save the gray wolf?

    A:

    Gray wolves are being saved through a variety of conservation measures, such as new laws and wildlife preserves. However, to pass the necessary laws and establish preserves, there needs to be public support for the preservation of gray wolves.

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    How long has the gray wolf been around?

    A:

    Evolutionary biologists believe that gray wolves emerged about 800,000 years ago during the Pleistocene epoch. Modern European and North American wolves are believed to have descended from a subspecies that arose about 150,000 years ago.

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    Red wolves are predatory canines that primarily hunt deer, rodents and rabbits. However, the wolves are extremely opportunistic, and they will eat whatever prey they can find, including raccoons, pigs, nutria and muskrats. Red wolves have few predators as adults, and they fear only humans and other canines, such as other types of wolves and coyotes.

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    What are the gray wolf's enemies?

    A:

    Humans and tigers are the main enemies of gray wolves. Although wolves often encounter opposition from prey or from other animals looking to steal their kill, only humans and tigers seek out nearby wolves with intent to kill.

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