Yes, it does happen! When one of the parents die, usually another member of the pack replaces the deceased parent’s leading role. Often the replacing wolf is the same sex as the wolf that died, and will become the new mate of the remaining parent. If there aren’t any other adult pack members that can replace the role of the deceased parent, it often happens that the remaining parent looks for or accepts a new mate that isn’t from their pack – like in the documentary “Rise of black wolf”.
All wolves love cubs and are programmed to protect and nurture them. This can extend to pups that are not related to themselves, especially if the adopting wolf has pups of its own already.
Also, there’s been studies done in which they followed wolf packs from who one of the breeding pair died. In those cases odd composed packs formed (for example two male wolves who were brothers and a new, unrelated female wolf who joined and paired with one of the brothers), but they all had in common a structure of a leading breeding pair. This studies concluded that apparently, wolves instinctively always seek for this structure in whatever unnatural group they end up or formed.
(You can watch the documentary “Rise of black wolf” for free online here)
:) It’s Electricrainx
I was explaining that in case you didn’t know that, and mainly because I could not think of any other reason why you would otherwise mention this than you not being aware of this. Assuming you might not be aware of this fact is not at all humiliating. I have a broadly varying audience on this blog, whose extent of knowledge of the wolf ranges widely. By implying that it is humiliating that I assumed you weren’t aware of this fact, you are in fact humiliating my possible followers who did not know this.
Anyway, I’m done discussing little nitpicking things like this with a grey face who is too childish to admit that their way of talking to me wasn’t very polite. Stop trying to find something I was wrong about, because I wasn’t. Let’s get over youself and if you want to discuss in a mature way I’m all ears! :)
By “per season”, they don’t mean that per every four season a wolf pair is going to breed. They mean that per breeding season, one wolf pair in the pack is going to breed. Wolves only breed once a year (typically from January to March), not four times a year.
The example of Whitey you refer to stems form a wild Arctic wolf pack David Mech studied for several years – you can read all of his findings on that in the online free available scientific article “A ten-year history of the demography and productivity of an Arctic wolf pack”. Whitey was a particular dominant female offspring from the breeding pair in that pack, who replaced her mother’s role as breeding female at the age of three, and started to produce pups with the former breeding male (Whitey’s father, so inbreeding). Another wolf from that pack called Left Shoulder (origin unknown but supposedly to be Whiteys brother) took over the place of the first breeding male and formed the new breeding pair with Whitey (again, inbreeding).
The described above is just one example, and looking at the over all wolf statistics, polygamous acts like these are indeed not uncommon, but definitely not the customary. Like I have stated since the beginning, typically, wolves are monogamous. I specifically use the term typically because just like in many scientific cases of whatever subject, there are exceptions. So yes, it is common for wolves to be monogamous – exceptions left aside.
Really, I love discussing matters like this, so I like that you touch subjects like this and address comments or questions! But only in a respectful, polite way and not by your rude, bitchy comments like “well look at that, *brawl brawl*”.