What Are Some Adaptations That Wolves Have Made?


Quick Answer

Wolves are adapted for killing and eating meat. They have sharp canine teeth that can puncture and slash flesh or pick it off bones, while their rear teeth can crush bones to get to the marrow inside. Wolves are also adapted for running quickly over long distances.

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Full Answer

Wolves have very efficient digestive systems that can use everything but the hair and bones of their prey. A large liver aids digestion by breaking down fats. Because prey is not available on a regular schedule, wolves have large stomachs that can hold nearly 20 pounds of meat at a time. This allows them to go without food for as long as two weeks at a time.

Wolves' adaptations for running include a digitigrade stance, which means that they walk and run on their toes. They have long legs relative to their height. Their feet are blocky with long, flexible toes that adapt well to many kinds of terrain. Their elbows turn inward, placing their bodies directly over their feet and allowing for efficient motion. Wolves routinely travel up to 50 miles a day in search of food, trotting at 5 miles per hour. They can run for short periods at up to 38 miles per hour.

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