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Yellowstone wolf study reveals how to raise successful offspring

What are the key ingredients to raising successful, self-sufficient offspring? A new life sciences study using 14 years of data on gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park indicates that cooperative group behavior and a mother’s weight are crucial.

“A female’s body weight is key in the survival of her offspring, and cooperation in the protection and feeding of young pups pays off in terms of the production of offspring,” said Robert Wayne, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA and co-author of the new research, published this week in the online edition of the Journal of Animal Ecology.

Wolves are social carnivores that live in territorial, kin-structured packs. Female wolves depend on other adults in the pack to help them provide food for their pups and defend the youngsters from predators — mainly, competing packs of wolves. The greater the group cooperation, the researchers say, the better the pack’s survival advantage…

Read the entire article on sciencecodex.com: Yellowstone wolf study reveals how to raise successful offspring

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