Why do wolves eat flowers?

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Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Weakea » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:27 pm

i have this question to ask and not just wolves, it seems like all canine eat flowers

is there any scientific way to explain such behaviour?
and plase dont tell me they eat flowers just because they "smells good"

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Maia Huntress » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:09 pm

Well, I'm not exactly sure about wolves, but some animals have been known to eat plants for health purposes; ususally it helps them digest their food.

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Canidae » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:35 pm

Well wolves are kind of like human toddlers, in that they'll explore objects with their mouth. If you were to hand pretty much any object to a wolf, the wolf would probably take it and gnaw on it a little before deciding if it's interesting or not.

Flowers are bright and colorful, and vastly different from the grasses around them, making them stand out, and I think the wolves are probably just exploring the interesting tastes and textures of the flowers they chew on.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Weakea » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:43 pm

not likely

they do even after they are grown adult

and some wolves keep eating certain type of flowers once in a while.

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Weakea » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:51 pm

Maia Huntress wrote:Well, I'm not exactly sure about wolves, but some animals have been known to eat plants for health purposes; ususally it helps them digest their food.

and the name of the substance and its function?
^^"

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Canidae » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:55 pm

Weakea wrote:not likely

they do even after they are grown adult

and some wolves keep eating certain type of flowers once in a while.

I didn't say that only wolf pups did this, try rereading my last post.


And maybe certain flowers taste better than others. I don't think it's quite possible for us to say exactly why a wolf will prefer one flower over another, I honestly think it's just a matter of personal preference.
I don't think the flowers have any dietary benefit at all, aside from possibly inducing vomiting like grasses do.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Maia Huntress » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:19 pm

Canidae wrote:

I don't think the flowers have any dietary benefit at all, aside from possibly inducing vomiting like grasses do.
Yes, that is basically what I meant by digestive purposes. I mean, there are rumors that animals will eat different herbs to heal them, but I'm not sure if that is actually true.

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Blightwolf » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:38 pm

Canidae wrote:I don't think the flowers have any dietary benefit at all, aside from possibly inducing vomiting like grasses do.
Canidae is right.

Flowers do not offer any additional nutritional values. There is nothing beneficial in eating vegetation apart from the fact that canids chew and swallow hay and grass in order to purge their digestive system.

Certain plants and flowers are also poisonous and wolves are not omnivorous or herbivores. They're carnivores and their primary diet consists of meat. I don't think that it's very common for wolves to eat flowers. It might be occasional and random behavior perhaps conducted during a play session or the wolf might just feel a little inquisitive about its surroundings. And flowers don't really "taste" like anything. They have a bitter and obnoxious, tasteless feel to them. The scent of a flower might attract a wolf but I don't think a scent is enough in order to make them actually eat them.

My guess is that if wolves are seen chomping flowers, they do this to purge their digestive system like they do with grass and hay or they are just being curious.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Weakea » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:03 am

so there isnt much scientific explanation for this

and it has not been proofed why they eat flowers exactly.
maybe wolf researches and expert can have sometime to found out what makes them eat flowers exactly


and thx for all people who give me the info

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:17 am

Seems very likely that there is no coherent reason behind this behavior... other than that the wolves are trying to purge their digestive system by eating flowers the same way they'd eat hay and grass.

During a time when primary prey items are scarce, wolves are documented eating various vegetative objects like berries, fruit and even fungi. Wolves also eat insects and fish when large ungulates or small quarry (rodents) isn't available.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Canidae » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:29 pm

Blightwolf wrote:Wolves also eat insects and fish when large ungulates or small quarry (rodents) isn't available.

Well they'll nibble on insects sometimes just for fun. xD But I know what you meant; wolves very rarely rely on insects to provide a significant part of their diet.

And apparently, toads aren't very tasty; the wolves at my work captured a toad today, and all they did was paw at it and sniff it.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by grape500 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:32 pm

For humans I think toads have a poison that's dangerous so maybe its dangerous for wolves as well
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by TalaHuntress » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:55 pm

I'm not really sure why wolves eat flowers. However, I was reading the book Wolves at Our Door by Jim and Jamie Dutcher, and they wrote that their wolves (the Sawtooth Pack) were seen eating flowers in a meadow. They were only eating one type of flowers, though. I am currently unable to find the exact section, but when I do, I will post it on here.

Here is a similar section in the book Living with Wolves, also by Jim and Jamie Dutcher:
A SCENE IN THE MEADOW
In July, wildflowers carpet the meadow with splashes of almost luminous color. The wolves nuzzled the grassy vegetation and appeared to pause and actually sniff the wide variety of flowers. Wolves have a highly devolped sense of smell, so at first this does not seem too unusual. However, the repetition of the behavior over the course of the next few days generated wonder: What could the attraction be? Are they finding small rodents in the grass to eat?

JIM: At a distance, I watch the wolves through binoculars so I don't distub or influence their puzzling behavior. I'm astounded to see the wolves are actually eating flowers!

On closer examination, Jamie further determines that the wolves are eating only one flower in particular-the shooting star. Bright, delicate magenta petals flare backwards from the black stamen rimmed in gold atop the nodding stem of this wild flower. Native Americans used the flowers and bulbs of this pernnial herb in their diet. When Jamie tasted the flowers, she detected very little flavor, nothing particulary interesting or stimulating. Yet the entire pack of wolves repeated this behavior season after season, eating shooting stars, and only shooting stars, with absolute discrimination

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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Canidae » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:21 pm

TalaHuntress wrote:I'm not really sure why wolves eat flowers. However, I was reading the book Wolves at Our Door by Jim and Jamie Dutcher, and they wrote that their wolves (the Sawtooth Pack) were seen eating flowers in a meadow. They were only eating one type of flowers, though. I am currently unable to find the exact section, but when I do, I will post it on here.

Here is a similar section in the book Living with Wolves, also by Jim and Jamie Dutcher:
A SCENE IN THE MEADOW
In July, wildflowers carpet the meadow with splashes of almost luminous color. The wolves nuzzled the grassy vegetation and appeared to pause and actually sniff the wide variety of flowers. Wolves have a highly devolped sense of smell, so at first this does not seem too unusual. However, the repetition of the behavior over the course of the next few days generated wonder: What could the attraction be? Are they finding small rodents in the grass to eat?

JIM: At a distance, I watch the wolves through binoculars so I don't distub or influence their puzzling behavior. I'm astounded to see the wolves are actually eating flowers!

On closer examination, Jamie further determines that the wolves are eating only one flower in particular-the shooting star. Bright, delicate magenta petals flare backwards from the black stamen rimmed in gold atop the nodding stem of this wild flower. Native Americans used the flowers and bulbs of this pernnial herb in their diet. When Jamie tasted the flowers, she detected very little flavor, nothing particulary interesting or stimulating. Yet the entire pack of wolves repeated this behavior season after season, eating shooting stars, and only shooting stars, with absolute discrimination


I actually own that book, Wolves at our Door, and I found the section you are referring to:
One day early that July, I was sitting on the yurt platform, watching the pack as they slowly milled around the flowering meadow, apparently looking for something. For a moment, I honestly thought they were smelling the flowers. The wolves always sniffed anything that smelled remotely interesting, but they moved on once their curiosity had been satisfied. As full of interesting behavior as these animals were, I nonetheless would have found it hard to believe that they were lounging in the meadow, like Ferdinand the Bull, smelling the new summer blossoms.

Not wanting to approach them and possibly disturb their behavior, I retrieved my binoculars from the tent and focused in on Motomo. Rather than sniffing, he was contentedly chewing on something. Had they found an early bunch of grasshoppers or a nest of pocket mice? I turned my attention to Matsi just in time to see him snip the blossom off a wildflower, chew, and swallow it. Amazingly enough, these ferocious carnivores were having a little salad.

It took Jami and me several days of watching them to realize that they were methodically seeking out and eating only one particular flower--the shooting star, a member of the primrose family with bright magenta and yellow blossoms. Jamie sampled a flower or two and reported them "rather bland," but I have since read that the indigenous people here sometimes roasted the leaves and roots for food. Whatever the reason, the wolves appeared to enjoy this, and only this, flower. We never saw them touch another variety, but every year they would graze on this plant.
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Re: Why do wolves eat flowers?

Post by Blightwolf » Sun Jun 06, 2010 2:51 am

This is really interesting. Wolves eating flowers has been observed and documented but it hasn't (yet) been discovered why they do that.
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