"Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

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"Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by Koa » Sat Oct 29, 2011 12:49 pm

Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules
October 28, 2011 by Lin Edwards

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study of wolves (Canis lupus) has found that communication between pack members and a social hierarchy are not essential features of a successful hunt, and all the wolves have to do is follow two simple rules.

The researchers, led by Cristina Muro of the Assistance Dogs Association AEPA-Euskadi, in Bilbao, Spain and colleagues in Spain and the US, used computational simulations to study the strategies of wolf packs in hunting and capturing prey.

The results of the study were that two simple rules were sufficient to reproduce the actual wolf-pack behaviour of tracking, pursuing and encircling prey seen in the wild. The rules were, firstly, move towards the prey until at a close but safe distance (the distance depending on factors such as the length of horns), and then secondly, when at the minimum safe distance, to move away from the other wolves which are also in position.

The only information each of the five wolves in the computer-simulated pack needed was the position of the other wolves in the pack, and it did not necessarily need to communicate with the other members. The computer models also found that no hierarchy was required within the pack for the hunting to be successful.

The results suggest that theories requiring the wolves to display a strict hierarchy along with superior intelligence and ability to plan the chase may be off the mark, since simply following the two rules resulted in the virtual wolves in the computer simulation behaving remarkably like wild wolf packs. The virtual wolves closed in and encircled the prey in the same way as real wolves, and if the prey tried to escape one wolf would sometimes seem to ambush the prey after it drew back to maintain distance from the other members of the pack, which placed it in the path of the prey animal.

The results of the study do not prove, however, that wolves are not intelligent and do not show foresight or planning.

Research at Yellowstone Park reported on last month at Physorg also demonstrated that wolves are risk-averse and keep at a safe distance if they can, leaving other members of the pack to do the dangerous work of getting in closer to prey, which can kick or gore them to death. This research also showed that smaller wolf packs can hunt more effectively than larger packs.

The results of the two studies raise questions about why wolves tend to live in packs, since the previously held assumptions of a large pack being more effective at hunting, and social behaviour and communication being essential, appear to be wrong.
Read more at:
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-wol ... imple.html
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by ShadowLycan » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:48 pm

Thanks for sharing this Koa! Very interesting.
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by Averi » Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:40 pm

That is really interesting, Koa, especially the part of questioning why wolves live in packs at the lower part of the article. Thanks for posting this!
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by Tarbtano » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:11 pm

interesting, this does dispel the classic myth wolves work in highly coordinated strike team for a hunt.

Would be interesting to see if they could model species that do use complex strategy and communication in hunts, such as lions and hyenas
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by BlackWarrior » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:29 pm

Wow this is interesting indeed.
I always thought that wolves did communicate and such but this is possibly proving many of the other theories wrong.
Thanks for posting this Koa! :D
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by Tarbtano » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:06 am

I would suppose (sorry if this is off topic a bit), that the reason wolves even form large packs to begin with might be a question of territorial rather then hunting. A large wolf pack can more effectively keep other wolves out of its territory then a smaller one.

And if wolves (I know hyenas have, not sure about wolves though) do get involved in 'Gang Wars' against other packs, and a full Pack on Pack fight breaks out; a larger pack would more easily intimidate or come out victorious over, a smaller pack
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by failwolf56 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:37 pm

Mhh, this is new news to me. I had no idea that wolves actually had more of an advantage, the less of them there are.

Also, to what Tarbtano said, that would make sense, that larger pcks would have the advantage of being able to hold more territory, but it seems that smaller packs would not have the need to hold onto more territory, because they are smaller and can live on less land.
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by gabrilagg » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:10 am

Awesome! Most of the time I get curious of how they hunt. All my life I believed that a Pack with 14 wolves would get more food than a smaller Pack, and for the bigger Pack would be easier to catch and kill the animal they want eat. I got a bit confused now. @.@ But that's really interesting! Thank you for posting this.

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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by firepheonix » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:49 pm

Perfect, I mean more than Perfect! :D
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Re: "Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules"

Post by shadowwolf966 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:52 am

You know, I'm actually surprised to see this information. I had believed for so long that communication and compilcated tactics were key; although I'm glad to see that new information is always surfacing.
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