Q:

How do wolves reproduce?

A:

Quick Answer

Wolves reproduce when the alpha male and female of a pack mate and bear offspring. Once this occurs, all members of the pack, which is a group of family members and often the older offspring of the mating pair, take care of the pups.

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Full Answer

A wolf reaches prime reproductive age between 2 and 3 years old. At this point the female goes into heat and mates with a male during the first three months of the year, usually from January to March. The female carries the pups for 63 days before giving birth to a litter, which consists of between four and six young.

The new pups are born blind and deaf, depending on their mother for nourishment and the rest of the pack for protection. They nurse at least every 4 hours for several weeks. At six weeks old the pups are weaned from their mother's milk, and by 8 weeks they are eating solid food. By the time the pups reach 6 months of age, they travel with pack and at 9 months they are considered fully mature although they do not officially join the pack until they reach the age of 3. At this point, the pups can either remain with the pack, which consists of older siblings, relatives and their parents, or strike out on their own.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a group of wolves called?

    A:

    A group of wolves is called a pack. Wolves are social creatures that travel, hunt and perform all activities together. The pack is made up of family members, whether by blood or special ties.

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  • Q:

    How do wolves hunt?

    A:

    Wolves typically hunt in a pack of six to ten members. When hunting large prey, such as deer or elk, the pack works together to isolate and then bring down their prey.

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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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  • Q:

    What eats wolves?

    A:

    Aside from humans, wolves do not have any direct predators and are considered at the top of their food chain. Wolf meat is not normally consumed, although it would be possible for it to be eaten in extreme circumstances.

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