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Newly documented behavior of free-ranging Arctic wolf pups

June 1, 2022

Whereas much is known about the behavior and development of captive young wolf (Canis lupus) pups, less detail has been published about some aspects of free-ranging wolf pup behavior. This article synthesizes 42 observations of free-ranging Arctic wolf pups from ages 13 through 52 days made during 10 summers from 1987 through 2006 on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Besides listing key behaviors such as howling and caching, I record unique observations of ages of pup urination without adult stimulation (22, 33, 42, 52 days), knowledge of which is important to studies of wolf domestication, and of a 48-day-old pup that traveled 39 km during a 12 h and 19 min round trip between the den and a prey carcass, including a 26.5 km trek in 5 h. These observations should lead to a deeper and more complete understanding of this critical period of pup growth and development.

Publication Year 2022
Title Newly documented behavior of free-ranging Arctic wolf pups
DOI 10.14430/arctic75056
Authors L. David Mech
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Arctic
Index ID 70249758
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center