In the rugged, sometimes violent world of the wolf, it pays to have mom and dad around.

The longer wolf couples are together, the more likely their offspring are to survive into adulthood, according to new research from the University of Idaho.

According to the study, which will be published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, for each year a wolf pair stays together, the odds of their pups surviving into adulthood increased 20%.

Put another way, “they get 20% better at what they do every year,” study author David Ausband said.

The study used nine years of scat data collected by Ausband and others from wolves throughout Idaho.
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