February 19, 2010


. . . and they returned in a hurry to their regular range. In only 3.5 days, the pack covered 145 miles (234 km) or 41 miles (67 km) per day from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1, straight-line distance between consecutive locations. The wolves certainly didn’t travel straight between each point, although on such treks they usually do move fairly directly. Still, they no doubt put on many more miles than we could measure. They also did not seem to make any kills along the way back, although it did look like they stopped at 1 or 2 kills made on the way south. Thus this very interesting push outside of their usual range, whose function we wondered about a few days ago, turned out to be a little hunting trip. By probing into new areas, not only do the wolves find new muskoxen to try to kill, but the muskoxen they do seek are less wary than those that the wolves test in their regular range. If the prey are less wary, they are probably easier to kill, with less risk to the wolves.

Check out the Discovery Channel's Daily Planet featuring Dave's research!

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