In this article, the thesis is that wolves hunt in packs because they lose less of a carcass to ravens (37 percent loss per pair versus 17 percent loss per pack). Yet the article also states that it’s more energy efficient for wolves to hunt in pairs and that a pack is not needed to kill a moose. So a pair of wolves hunts more efficiently and gets 31 percent of a carcass each, but a pack hunts less efficiently and gets only 14 percent of a carcass each. Doesn’t sound like a good survival strategy to me.

Greg Smith
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Hunting in pairs is not always more efficient. Researcher Tom Waite says that the cost of increased food sharing with other wolves in a larger pack is offset by the benefits of reduced losses to ravens and increased rates of predation on moose .—S. Milius