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|Facts and Knowledge:
The majestic arctic wolf lives in the silent vastness of the barren polar regions, where darkness cloaks the land for up to five months a year. Here it hunts almost every other living animal. Able to tolerate years of subzero temperatures, months of darkness and weeks without food, the arctic wolf liven one of the few places on earth where it is safe from the greatest threat of all -- MAN.
Habitats: Arctic wolves inhabit some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. In April, the air temperatures rarely rises above -22 F. The ground is permeably frozen. The arctic wolf is one of the few mammals that can tolerate these conditions. The wolf preys on lemmings and arctic hare, buts it most substantial source of food is the musk ox and caribou. Because of the scarcity of grazing plants, animals must roam a large area in order to find enough food to survive. Consequently, the wolf pack has to travel over eras of up to 800 square miles in search of its prey. When winter temperatures plummet, the wolves may follow low migrating caribou south.
Breeding: Throughout the fall and winter, wolves keep on the move, but after mating in March, the pregnant female leaves the pack to find a nursery den. She may dig a new one, but where the ground is frozen, she will be forces to return to an old den in a cave or rock cleft. The cubs are born deaf, blind, and helpless. They are totally dependent of their mother, and she is turn relies her mate to bring her food she needs. After a month the cubs are able to eat meat. From then on , the whole pack shares the job of feeding them with regurgitated meat from a kill. The cubs may strike out on their own the following year.
Food & Hunting: Full grown caribou and musk oxen are far too powerful for a single wolf to attack alone, so wolves must always work together as a pack when hunting large prey. Surprise attacks are almost impossible on the open tundra, by the time the pack approaches, its prey is in a defensive stance. Musk Oxen, for example, will form a circle with their calves safely on the inside.
The wolf pack must then try to disrupt the herd. The wolves circle the herd and prowl around, forcing the oxen to shift their ground to face them. If the wolves are successful, the oxen scatter. Once, the herd has scattered, the wolves give chase, trying to isolate a young or weak animal. If one wolf catches a victim, the others will aid in killing it. A musk ox provides enough food to last the wolves several days.
Key Facts: Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle, related Species
Length: Head and body, 3 - 5 ft.
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