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Regurgitative Food Transfer Among Wild Wolves

By

L. David Mech1, Paul C. Wolf2, and Jane M. Packard3


Abstract: Few studies of monogamous canids have addressed regurgitation in the context of extended parental care and alloparental care within family groups. We studied food transfer by regurgitation in a pack of wolves on Ellesmere Island, North West Territories, Canada during six summers from 1988 through 1996. All adult wolves, including yearlings and a post-reproductive female, regurgitated food. Although individuals regurgitated up to five times per bout, the overall ratio of regurgitations per bout was 1.5. Pups were more likely to receive regurgitations (81%) than the breeding female (14%) or auxiliaries (6%). The breeding male regurgitated mostly to the breeding female and pups, and the breeding female regurgitated primarily to pups. The relative effort of the breeding female was correlated with litter size (τ de Kendall = 0.93, P = 0.01).
This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 1076):
Mech, L. David, Paul C. Wolf, and Jane M. Packard.  1999.  Regurgitative food 
     transfer among wild wolves.  Canadian Journal of Zoology 77:1192-1195.

This resource should be cited as:

Mech, L. David, Paul C. Wolf, and Jane M. Packard.  1999.  Regurgitative food 
     transfer among wild wolves.  Canadian Journal of Zoology 77:1192-1195.  
     Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/regurg/index.htm 
     (Version 16JUN2000).

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Author to whom all correspondence should be sent at the following address:  North Central Research Station, 1992 Folwell Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108. U.S.A.  (email: Mechx002@tc.umn.edu).

1 Biological Resources Division, U. S. Geological Survey, Midcontinent Ecological Science Center, 4512 McMurry Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80525-3400. U.S.A.
2 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108. U.S.A.
3 Department of Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-2258. U.S.A.


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