Q:

What are some fun facts about the gray wolf?

A:

Quick Answer

Gray wolves do not actually howl at the moon. However, they do howl at dawn, at dusk and during the full moon due to the brightness of the sky at these times.

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Full Answer

Gray wolves are prolific eaters. They have been observed eating between 20 and 30 pounds of meat in a single meal. However, they have also been observed going up to two weeks between meals. They most often prey on larger ungulates such as elk and deer, but they have also been observed hunting smaller animals such as rabbits.

It is commonly believed that wolves form hierarchies within their packs with the dominant male and female taking the role of "alphas," their subordinates taking the roles of "betas," and the most submissive wolves in the pack taking the roles of "omegas." This belief is based on research into the behaviors of captive wolves artificially placed into a single "pack" by human keepers. Later research into the behaviors of wolves in the wild showed that natural wolf packs do not, in fact, function this way. Instead, natural wolf packs take the form of a family with the father and mother acting as "alphas" and their children acting as subordinates and rotating out of the pack to start their own pack as new children are born to the breeding pair.

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