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Wolf Diet and Eating Habits
Wolves are carnivores, and they do tend to stuff themselves with meat that can weigh up to 20 pounds per meal. Bigger preys include moose, deer or if they stray to prairies, they can feed on cattle. Sometimes, wolves choose to prey on weaker members of their pack to conserve energy for hunting, including smaller mammals as well. Wolves don’t take their time while eating, they finish their food before other predators can take hold of it.Their feeding cycle runs from 5 to 6 hours until it is time to hunt again.
Phylum – chordata (animals with notochords)
Class – Mammalia (Mammals)
Subclass – Eutheria (placental mammals)
Order – Carnivora (carnivores. Eg: cats, dogs,bears.)
Family – Canidae (dog family)
Genus – Canis (dogs)
Break down of species mentioned:
Grey Wolf – Canis lupis
Red Wolf – Canis rufus
Rescue and Conservation Efforts
Even with illegal hunters trying to control the population of these animals, gray wolves have slowly made a comeback in the United States. The case of the red wolves is what has become alarming as their population has dwindled over the past years. National Parks Conservation Association lists 20 to 80 wolves in the wild today, marking them as critically endangered.
Efforts have been made to help increase the population again including the Red Wolf Species Survival Plan, which aims to reintroduce pure wolves to the wild.
Other Interesting Facts
- Wolves live up to 6 to 8 years in the wild, while some have reached 13.
- Wolves are generally gray, but some packs give birth to all white and all black wolves
- Breeding season is from February to March
- They are fast creatures! Wolves have the ability to sprint up to 36 to 38 miles per hour