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

  • Q:

    What is the natural habitat of a gray wolf?

    A:

    Gray wolves are highly versatile animals and thrive in a wide range of environments, including woodlands, tundra and desert regions. The gray wolf's current habitat includes Canada, Alaska, the Great Lakes, the northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest.

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  • Q:

    Where do gray wolves live?

    A:

    Gray wolves live all throughout Canada and Alaska, and smaller populations can be found in the northwest United States and Yellowstone National Park. These canines were once prevalent across nearly all of North America but human expansion and over-hunting devastated their population by 1930.

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  • Q:

    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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  • Q:

    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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