Let us answer the question “what do arctic wolves eat?” and discuss some interesting facts about this rare wolf species diet.
The Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos), referred to as the Polar Wolf or White Wolf, is a mammal of family Canidae and a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. They can usually be found in the Canadian Arctic and also the northern regions of Greenland.
It is a medium-sized wolf, and distinct from the northwestern wolf because of its smaller size, narrower braincase, whiter coloration, and bigger carnassials. This is generally what do arctic wolves look like.
What do Arctic Wolves eat?
They either hunt and eat their food fresh or scavenge and eat from carcasses. Sometimes arctic wolves are known to eat eggs, salmon, berries, arctic foxes, beetles, and even bear cubs. In areas where there are human populations, Arctic wolves scavenge through garbage.
Arctic wolves thrive in regions where there are scant vegetation and wildlife. Arctic wolf prey is also hard to get due to regional and seasonal availability. Studies have shown that Arctic wolves prey on musk oxen more than arctic hares because musk oxen provide long term viability than arctic hares and Arctic wolves need to be efficient with their food where they are.
How do Arctic Wolves hunt?
What do arctic wolves eat? Now that we know that this animal group is carnivorous, let us now answer the question about their hunting behavior. How do arctic wolves hunt their food?
Arctic wolves are adapted to their hunting grounds. They have white fur that allows them to blend with their icy environment. Wolves hunt in packs and rarely as individuals.
The wolf pack is one of the most complex social orders in the animal kingdom. A wolf pack is usually a family group of 5-8 animals and consists of breeding adults with their young of 1 to 2 years old.
The breeding pair is usually the strongest, oldest, and largest of the wolves in the pack. Wolves use their body language to communicate and establish rules in the pack. They use this language to establish dominance and subservience in the pack.
To convey dominance, alpha wolves carry their tails high and stand erect and less dominant wolves respond with submissive behavior by holding their tails down, lowering their bodies, and pawing on the dominant ones.
Wolves have a keen sense of smell, hearing, and sight and could travel up to 5 miles an hour for long periods of time. A wolf pack could spend 8-10 hours on the move and travel 40 miles a day during winter. Within short periods of time, arctic wolves can travel up to 40 miles an hour.
Arctic wolves attack their next meal by burying their teeth into the neck of their prey. They also have a tendency to eat their food in massive pieces with minimal chewing.
Interesting Facts About Arctic Wolves
- Normally, only the alpha male and female Arctic wolves mate.
- Arctic wolves are generally smaller than gray wolves.
- Arctic wolves rarely encounter humans.
- Arctic wolves belong to the “least concern” category when it comes to endangered species lists.
- Between 1899 and 1939, the Arctic wolf population has declined and the wolves were exterminated in east Greenland.
Now, let us test your knowledge regarding the arctic wolves’ diet; can you answer the question: what do arctic wolves eat? Yes, arctic wolves hunt and eat arctic hare, musk oxen, Peary caribou, seals, lemmings, ptarmigan, and nesting birds.
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