GROW­ING UP FAST

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Nature -

A fe­male Ethiopian wolf gives birth in a den, usu­ally in a rocky crevice or un­der a boul­der. At first the pups are blind, lack teeth and have sparsely furred, dark grey or black coats. They de­pend on their mother for milk un­til they are three to four weeks old and ready to leave the den. Over the fol­low­ing six weeks the pups sur­vive on milk, sup­ple­mented by meat re­gur­gi­tated by the adults in the pack.

The young­sters prac­tice hunt­ing skills such as stalk­ing and pounc­ing by play­ing with older pack mem­bers. At 10 weeks of age they are weaned off milk and sur­vive en­tirely on meat pro­vided by the adults. By the time they are six months old they must be able to hunt for them­selves.

Pups are born with dark grey fur, but start moult­ing into their adult col­oration when they emerge from the den af­ter three weeks

Two sib­lings in­dulge in some rough and tum­ble. At six months old they join adults on hunt­ing pa­trols

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