Newly Documented Behaviour of Free-Ranging Arctic Wolf Pups




anogenital stimulation of urination; behavior; Canis lupus; den; development; urination; wolf domestication; wolf pup


Whereas much is known about the behavior and development of captive young wolf (Canis lupus) pups, less detail has been published about some aspects of free-ranging wolf pup behavior. This article synthesizes 42 observations of free-ranging Arctic wolf pups from ages 13 through 52 days made during 10 summers from 1987 through 2006 on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Besides listing key behaviors such as howling and caching, I record unique observations of ages of pup urination without adult stimulation (22, 33, 42, 52 days), knowledge of which is important to studies of wolf domestication, and of a 48-day-old pup that traveled 39 km during a 12 h and 19 min round trip between the den and a prey carcass, including a 26.5 km trek in 5 h. These observations should lead to a deeper and more complete understanding of this critical period of pup growth and development.