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Wolves once roamed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, occupying nearly every habitat with the exception of only tropical rainforest and arid desert.
A wolf is a large predator that depends for its survival upon large ungulates (hoofed animals), such as deer, elk, caribou, and in some parts of its range, moose and bison that tip the scales at more than a thousand pounds.
The wolf has powerful jaws, capable of exerting about 1500 pounds of pressure per square inch -- or twice that of the domestic German Shepard. Wolves are accustomed to a feast and famine existence, often going many days without eating and then gorging as much as 20 pounds in a single sitting. Wolves are opportunistic hunters, meaning they will take down what they can get, which often happens to be the weak, sick, old and very young.
Wolves will chase and test their prey looking for weakness. Hunting in this manner helps to improve the overall health of their prey population by removing the disadvantaged individuals, thereby allowing the healthiest animals to create future generations (wolves will also take down healthy adults that are often at some disadvantage, such as a moose on ice). Their method of hunting also prompts the prey animals to become more vigilant, agile and aware. The end result is a healthy natural relationship between predator and prey which has succeeded for hundreds of thousands of years.