Key observations of flexed-leg urination in the free-ranging Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) D Mech, R McIntyre – The Canadian Field-Naturalist, 2022
Flexed-leg urination (FLU) in female Gray Wolves (Canis lupus) has been little studied in the wild. Captive females in packs do not exhibit FLU unless they are both mature and dominant to an associate female, but these characteristics have not been confirmed in free-ranging wolves. We present observations of wolves in Yellowstone National Park that accord with those of wolves in captivity, extend our knowledge of FLU in Gray Wolf, pose additional questions about it, and suggest new areas of study to better understand it.
Wolf use of humanmade objects during pup-rearing. Animal Behavior and Cognition, Ausband, D.E., 2021
Some animals use humanmade objects for building and constructing nests or shelter and even for play. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) gather and use humanmade objects discovered in their natural environment. Gathering humanmade objects is a peculiar behavior particularly when there is no immediately apparent benefit to survival or reproduction. I opportunistically documented 46 different types of humanmade objects with plastic bottles and aluminum cans being the most common items found at wolf pup-rearing sites. Many objects were made of materials that appeared suitable to alleviate pain in teething pups. For some objects, however, it was not immediately obvious that they would alleviate teething pain due to their unpliable material. Additionally, such objects were quite rare in wolves’ natural environment although it was not uncommon to find them at pup-rearing sites. Rare humanmade objects may provide a novelty that stimulates pups more than common objects. I hypothesize that objects used by wolf pups 1) alleviate pain from teething, and 2) provide adults respite from energetic pups. The latter is an important distinction because it implies the benefit of object play is to the adults and not the pups per se. Gathering novel objects that occupy energetic and hungry pups may influence the overall ability of social carnivores to leave young unattended while they hunt, to rest upon their return, and ultimately rear young successfully.
Wolves in space: locations of individuals and their effect on pup survival in groups of a cooperatively breeding canid. Jacobs CE, Ausband DE. Animal Behaviour. 2019 Sep
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[HTML] Wolf (Canis lupus) generation time and proportion of current breeding females by age LD Mech, SM Barber-Meyer, J Erb – PloS one, 2016
Individual, group, and environmental influences on helping behavior in a social carnivore. Ausband, D.E., M.S. Mitchell, S.B. Bassing, A. Morehouse, D.W. Smith, D.R. Stahler, and J. Struthers. 2016
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Dog days of summer: influences on decision of wolves to move pups. Ausband, D.E., M.S. Mitchell, S.B. Bassing, M. Nordhagen, D.W. Smith, and D.R. Stahler. 2016. Journal of Mammalogy
Do gray wolves (Canis lupus) support pack mates during aggressive inter-pack interactions?
KA Cassidy, RT McIntyre – Animal cognition, 2016
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