How do gray wolves hunt?
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Q:

How do gray wolves hunt?

A:

Quick Answer

Gray wolves are carnivores that hunt in packs of up to 36, or on their own, finding prey by chance or via scent. In packs, they are capable of bringing down animals many times the size of an individual wolf, including bison, moose, elk, musk oxen or reindeer. When on their own, they hunt smaller animals such as rabbits or beavers.

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Full Answer

According to Animal Diversity Web, wolf society is highly hierarchical, with the alpha male and alpha female being the only wolves in the pack that breed. They also eat first at any kill. The rest of any pack is composed of their offspring and any unrelated wolves they have adopted. Each wolf has its own place in the hierarchy, with the station of those below rising when something happens to a higher-ranked wolf. The pack works as a whole both to hunt and to defend its territory, which can be very large depending on the size of the pack and the availability of food.

Gray wolves are peak predators and have few predators themselves, although general human activities, particularly habitat destruction and deliberate hunting, have reduced them to a much smaller number and range than they once occupied. They were once ubiquitous throughout the northern hemisphere. Wolves are occasionally killed by other wolves or by packs of coyotes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the eating habits of the gray wolf?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    What animal eats wolves?

    A:

    Wolves enjoy a spot at the top of the food chain, which means there are no animals that prey on wolves in general. There are some circumstances, however, in which wolves are hunted and eaten by other animals, such as bears or mountain lions, or even other wolves.

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  • Q:

    How do red wolves hunt?

    A:

    According to Defenders of Wildlife, red wolves hunt primarily at night in small packs or alone. The wolves are not very fast and must have the stamina to outlast their prey in order to catch them.

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  • Q:

    What are the predators of wolves?

    A:

    Wolves are the apex predators in the environment they live in, which means they don't have natural predators of their own, especially since they form packs. Wolves do have enemies, however, as they fight for food sources. Their enemies include bears, tigers and other wolf packs, depending on the region.

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