Lower Ranks Having Pups

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Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Aurora Alaska » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:07 pm

I saw on Animal Planet that if a lower-ranked female has pups, then the dominant female will fight her to raise the pups, and whoever wins will have the pups and raise them. Would the lower rank become higher if she won, and if she lost, would she be chased away? And, what would happen if the other mother wolf had no milk? The truth of it captivates me, but i would like to know some of the facts behind it . . . . Would the dominant not just kill the pups? Sorry for all the questions!
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by tasmanian_tiger » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:32 pm

That's a good question. But I'm not sure of the answer XD

But isn't it that the lower ranked wolves aren't allowed to have pups in the first place?

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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by she wolf » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:31 am

that is a good question i am not sure
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Aurora Alaska » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:06 am

tasmanian_tiger wrote:That's a good question. But I'm not sure of the answer XD

But isn't it that the lower ranked wolves aren't allowed to have pups in the first place?
That's the thing. What happens when they do, because not all wolves obey the rules, they have minds of their own! It said it on Animal planet on Growing Up Wolves, and the lady was a scientist . . . thanks for the help! :)
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Sukami55 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:40 am

All wolves can have pups in a pack, but the Alpha Males will take dominance over any wolf. Alpha's usually are the only ones to mate and have pups, because of other wolves scared of getting hurt.
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Aurora Alaska » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:57 am

:) I understand that, but like what i dont understand is when that does happen, even without the alpha male as father, what happens to the mother. Thanks for your help though, everyone, though.
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Sukami55 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:58 am

Aurora Alaska wrote: :) I understand that, but like what i dont understand is when that does happen, even without the alpha male as father, what happens to the mother. Thanks for your help though, everyone, though.
If a pup was left with only a mother, all males would fight to get her to be their mate. All wolves want to be the leader.
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Aurora Alaska » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:01 am

No I mean . . . if it were a lower-ranked female, not the dominant female, what would the dominant female do to her . . . but thank you, again. would they all fight over a low-ranked female, to be her mate? that just seems a little odd to me, more like a privelage than a punishment.
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Sukami55 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:03 am

Aurora Alaska wrote:No I mean . . . if it were a lower-ranked female, not the dominant female, what would the dominant female do to her . . . but thank you, again. would they all fight over a low-ranked female, to be her mate? that just seems a little odd to me, more like a privelage than a punishment.
No, only if it's mating season.
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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Songdog » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:02 am

Songdog wrote:
Songdog wrote:The breeding pair usually stick together and fiercely guard their breeding rights. Only one pair breeds per year, unless there is a disruption in dominance or shift in power.

If the non dominant female were to have pups, their chance of survival would be drastically decreased. The mother would not be able to maintain the nutrition required for healthy milk production because the 'lead' female gets priority of the meat. The wolf may be driven out of the pack, the pups may be killed or even abandoned by the mother. The mother would not get choice of denning (dens are only used for pups for a certain age; wolves do not sleep in dens, only the pups) The pups may not have a den at all and would be exposed to the elements. They may not get the protection from predators such as cougars, bears, or large birds (eagles, hawks, etc) Because of poor nutrition, the pups would have a lower immunity, improper growth, etc.

It is rare for there to be more than one litter of pups.
pawnee wrote: In Yellowstone during the early years of reintroduction multiple females in sevral packs had pups, sometimes more than one female had a litter in the same pack. Biologists believe that because of the vast resources avalible to the wolves, related females (sisters, mother and daughter) would tolerate their related kin to have a litter. Whether these litters are from a single male is unknown but the majority of the time when this happens is that related females may be more tolerant of another litter.

In captivity, as Songdog said, a low ranking female cannot earn respect to protect her pups so curious wolves might go into the den and investigate. Female wolves in captivity also expirence higher levels of aggression because sub bordinate animals cannot leave the pack and must bear the brunt of the conflicts. Thus, female wolves in captive situations are probably less likely to tolerate an intrusion of their breeding rights by another female.

The only cases in the wild that I`ve read about where more than one wolf produces pups is when there is little compeition from other wolves with abundant resources
or
when wolf populations are pressured (eg from control programs) and thus the chances of pup survival are increased along with larger litter sizes.

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Re: Lower Ranks Having Pups

Post by Aurora Alaska » Wed Apr 08, 2009 11:04 am

Thank you for that. Sorry if there had been another topic like that, I hadn't seen it . . . Thanks though!
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