Author: Jeremiah Dyke Posted under:
The Wolf Almanac--Robert Busch
Wolfs evolved from miacids plus 52million years ago
Orginationion is unknown
750,000 years ago the wolf is thought to have migrated to north America
10,000 years ago dates the oldest site of wold human remains
Some believe the red wolf is a mixture of coyote,wolf breeding
sight They are unable to distinguish pack mates at 100 to 150 feet
98% of rabies is found in skunks bats foxes and raccoons
One study shoed that of 165 wolves only ten lived to age of nine.
The extended family unit, the pack, is the main social system of the wolf. The care giving is second only to primates.
A pack usually consists of a pair of breeding wolves (alfa). There is also the omega wolf, subject to much harassment. The pack is usually 4-7 wolves. The largest pack was 36. Large packs may provide improved hunting when game is scarce and choose larger prey. Yet nearly 15% of wolves are lone wolfs. Lone wolfs also have a higher mortality rate than pack wolves.
social rank is enforced by a set of body positions and movements, intimidation and harassment.
Dominance is shown by posture, growling, biting, showing teeth and enjoys sexual privileges. They are usually first to fight
Subordinante wolves may actually solicit responses from more dominate members to reaffirm their status. They fold ears back, peel back their lip, pee on themselves, lick superior wolves muzzle
Social rankings move up and down the lupine social ladder as they get older, injured, ill, or form alliances. If alfa dies, the next in charge beta takes over
There is a great joy and companionship among them, sometimes sleeping, curling up next to their dead
crippled wolves are many times brought food by their pack, slowing their hunts for the injured
Most agression is between female pack members, more so in captivity, or when packs enter each others territory. Such aggression depends on food scarcity and genetic ties
Many wolves will not howl at the same pitch but discord in order to sound larger and more formidable
There are four different types of scent marks, scratching, defecation, raised-lef and squat position urination
In one study of 583 urine leg raises, 99.3% of them were directed at a particular object
It is thought that scent marks help to maintain contract between neighbors. Furthermore, leg raised urinations are usually more common along the perimeters of territories. In wolf-world this is a no trespassing sign.
Lone wolfs rarely perform raised leg urination since they have no boundaries to claim, and they are usually submissive adults driven from their pack. It may also be a survival tactic to avoid being tracked
They may also raise their leg on the site of a kill to mark it. Or, on food already consumed or discarded.
Roads/paths are created by scats of defecation every 250 yards
Domestic dogs have brains 31% smaller than wolfs
Wolves have in many cases appropriated fox dens for their own use
Ravens and wolves form a pact, the wolves rip open skin and thus they alert each other to food
Small-medium sized vocal dogs are attacked more often than others.
normal pace of 5 mph and 15-30 mph for upward of 10-12 miles
wolves travel about 20 miles each day in search for food
A territory for a wolf is defined as what it is willing to defend. They tend to expand in the winter an be larger where food is scarce. The typically territory for a wolf pack is 100 square miles and ranges from 25 square miles to 1000 square miles depending on location.
"The Wolf" by David Mech
according to Mech there is dominance priviileges and leadership, yet there are exceptions. For example, in some cases subordinate wolves may prevent higher ranking wolves from taking food they already possess. "there seems to be an 'ownership zone' within about one foot of a wolf's mouth in which anything within that zone is beyond disputed [owned]"
A study was performed in St. Paul Zoo that demonstrated what economists call the endowment effect. A pack of wolves were withheld food for 72 hours at which point in time a small amount of food was placed into the cage. Immediately a submissive wolf grabbed it and proceed to defend it from dominant members of the pack.
Thus, even subordinate wolves can become dominant over other wolves with respect to the piece of meat
status quarrels are never a private matter, each member keeps their eye on the quarrel and is constantly looking for an opening to increase their rank
studies by the Superior National Forest show that pack howl more when they have something to protect, like food or the sounds of other packs
The Wolves of Minnesota
Instead of the larger packs being needed to kill larger prey, it ma be that larger prey allows for larger packs via the amount of extra food
A wolfs chorus howl is usually mistaken by humans as being more than there actually is, wolves may make the same mistake. Packs may times howl to avoid each other
coming in contact with each other allows wolves to detect weaknesses
Whenever there is signs of neighboring packs they increase their RLU rate.
There is a 1-2 mile wide buffer zone where less prey is killed and marks are left more often. Strife between packs is the cause of most deaths in the wild
Without visual contact wolves mostly leave each other alone. It has been documented that even wounded prey who enter into foreign territory will not be chased, even when no other wolves are in sight. A pack usually covers their territory at east every three weeks
scent marks will show mated pairs
Variation in stimulus, seasonal context, and response to urine marks by captive Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus)
For a carnivore, placing marks in its surroundings is
important for several important reasons. In this way it can
affirm its possession of food or mate resources, delimitate
its territory, or indicate its social position or a certain
physiological or emotional state.
From The Way of the Wolf: Mech
The alpha male (and sometimes the alpha female) maximizes advertising power by "marking scent posts like logs, sticks, rocks, ice chunks nd snowbanks". There are twice as many markings around the edges of wolf pack territories as in the centers. Usually about every 300 yards which may last up to 2 weeks
Also, uses marking to mark empty food catches, that is already devoured food and even on food they do not wish to eat
Through such markings and defecation the wolfs territory becomes dotted with olfactory hot spots". Such that any stranger knows when they are entering another packs lands or when a pack is leaving their lands.
Many territorial disputes take place months prior or after breeding season.
packs cannot afford to fight their neighbors constantly and thus rely on scent marking and howling as warnings
Furthermore, there tends to be a buffer zone between territory which serves as staging ground for much conflict. Ownership may shift continually
Borders and territory are not specific to human interactions, humans, like all animals have specific notions of property, more specifically, what notions are in violation to said property. Border disputes are the essence of all conflict. In fact, it may be argued that conflict may only exist along borders. That is, any conflict may be deconstructed to terms of borders. More specifically, any level of interaction or conflict may be simplified to a dispute between two or more border claims. Conflicts as basic as person-to-person aggression can be simplified to the concept of bodily borders. It is this reason why property must be studied. It is absurd to think of a world without boundaries, without claims to property. The individual who makes such assertions is, at minimum, acknowledging the human-borders of those he is asserting to convince (see argumentation ethics Hans Hoppe). Life is a border. It lives within the bounds of spatial and temporal order, within the borders of a body and may only be maintained by violating the borders of external organic life. To speak about communal ownership is to neglect individual ownership and to neglect the individual is to neglect life itself. It is for this reason that we are all propertarians in some shape of form. Butler Shaffer makes the argument as clear as anyone
"Those who insist that privately-owned property is nothing more than a fiction created by humans, or the creature of political and legal institutions, would do well to examine the behavior of other life forms. Such an anthropocentric vision expresses a fundamentalignorance of the nature of all living things to occupy and consume resources. Territory is the most fundamental fact of existence. Even plants, trees, and corals stake out and defend individual territorial boundaries. Other species have no known governments or laws and yet maintain a very high degree of respect for the territorial claims established by other members of their species." --Butler Shaffer Boundaries of Order
The purpose of this article is to detail property and territorial disputes and order within the wolf species. Wolves possess a complex system of territory and ownership that exists both within the pack and within pack-to-pack relations. Even within the often categorized pack hierarchy subordinate wolves possess levels of territorial ownership. It must of course be noted that nothing within the elements of nature possesses the level of border respect within that of the human population, even when parasitic entities such as governments are factored in to the equation. Yet, we must note that borders are usually only defined vis a vis species to specie relations. A wolf defines its territory vis a vis other wolves, not various other competitors. It is true that other competitors, like the bear, may violate a wolves boundaries and thus must be factored in any claim of ownership. But, the bear is simply an obstical to ownership. The bear cannot be expected to respect the property of the wolf anymore than the wolf can be expected to respect the property of a squirrel. Shaffer makes the argument that "a claim of ownership derives its validity from a recognition by others, of the inherent worthiness of an individual to act to sustain himself or herself through negentropic action in the world." Normally, only like-species have the ability communicate their demands and desires to each other simply because a each species develops a more detailed form of communication with other like species. Though it is true that animals communicate to other non-like animals with similar signs to which they communicate with each other (visual, sound, echolocation, body language, and smell), these signs are not always interpreted as they were meant because each species set interpreting-equipment is predisposed to interpret based on a system of intra-specie communication. Therefore, even though both intraspecies and interspecies communication mechanisms between animals are viewed as elementary to the observing human, there is a significant difference between them vis a vis each other. Wolves, even if desired, have but limited means of communicating their demands to bears and other species. Likewise, even if a mutually beneficial set of actions were available between the bear and the wolf pack, such a set of actions would only be revealed by random luck and continued through the conditioning of younglings.
Wolf Territory & Pack to Pack Relations
Depending on geographical location, time of year, prey population density and rival competition, a wolf pack may claim territory from anywhere between 25 square miles to 1000 square miles, though the average is usually about 100 square miles (Busch). Furthermore, wolves typically travel at an average pace of 5 mph, covering 15-20 miles per day.
The Wolf Pack
Ownership Among The Pack
Granted, other wolves are opportunists, and would hesitate to take advantage of a situation that places them in a better position than their prior position. This may be true from both within and without a pack. Yet, within a pack more property are respected than without of the pack and even less respected outside the species. From this backdrop it may be claimed that all rights to property (be it territory, food, or life itself) revolves around a system of force. Unfortunately this system of force is an inescapably fact for any species who has not evolved beyond the system of zero sum interactions, that is, one individuals gain must by definition be another's loss. This is not true for humans who engage in barter. An exchange must, by definition, be beneficial, or it would not be undertaken.
Thus it may be argued that
Within the community of wolves, there exists a detailed account of property borders (PB). These PB are in some ways more advanced than our own system of property borders, even more so in areas where are property rights are neglected for the sake of some presupposed higher function such as society, country, or the common good
Wolves, like countries claim ownership to an ever changing longitude and latitude.
There seems to be an odd resemblance between individuals who have buffer zones via each other (what we label government roads, etc). But in most cases there are no buffer zones, property runs side by side and is distinguished by fences. Wolves too have buffer zones of about 1-2 miles. Within these areas little to no prey is hunted
From Hoppe Lecture:
According to karl bruler there are four different functions of language, two of which are found on the animal level the other are unique to humans. Use of symbols of sounds that express something like pain. An expressive function. Otherwise language also has a signal function