Wolves are VERY intelligent. How intelligent is very? Intelligent enough to open gates and to use symbols Intelligent enough to have set up their own means of communication and create and re-create a hierarchy for their pack.
Gordon K. Smith, who had a wolf pack in captivity, sometimes observed the wolves attempting to open a gate. Sometimes, they are quite successful. This man believes that the eastern timber wolf does this the best. He believes that some wolves are more mechanically inclined than others. Also, the eastern timber wolf shows emotions more clearly than other wolves. It butters other pack members up to get it's way, and shows depression when it doesn't. It expresses great joy and happiness clearly.
Wolves have established a hierarchy in their pack as the way they live. The hierarchy consists of two alphas, a male and female, to rule over the pack as the highest dominance. The alpha female will rule over the females and have the pups. In larger packs, she may dominate the lower ranked males. Two betas, a male and female, are the second highest in the ranking of the pack hierarchy. Two or more mid-ranks, male and female, are the third highest rank in the pack. Then come juveniles. There are two or more juveniles, depending on how many pups came that year or the one before. The omega is the lowest in the pack hierarchy, with only one wolf, male or female, to take this place.
Wolves know their place in the pack hierarchy. A leader will hold is head up and his or her tail straight. A lower ranked wolf will roll over, wriggle or crouch before the leader. It will also lick the leader's face.
The alpha female is the one who bears the pups. The alpha male and female will stay close together during breeding season. The female is often defending her position more.
Hunting is a main part of wolves' lives. To hunt the pack must be willing to obey, because the alpha male does give orders. They usually go after sick, young or old animals, to prevent other wolves of getting injury. Wolves will eat just about anything; small mammals, fish, birds, snakes, lizards and fruit. They usually go after bigger prey such as elk, moose, deer, caribou, and sheep. Wolves donít hunt with just gut instinct; they do have strategies when hunting. One is to be walking in a single file line towards the prey. Then, have the majority of the wolves' drops down in the grass and the others go on ahead. The others will go and chase the prey back to the others and they will jump up at it, grabbing its flanks and throat in their powerful jaws.
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