Dholes have clear hierarchy in their packs and feed in order of dominance, allowing pups to eat first, unlike wolves.

Dholes are highly social, pack-driven animals that like to keep an eye on each other. They rarely separate from one another as they live in close-knit packs averaging 5-12. They interact with other dholes outside of their own group, but the original pack rarely exceeds 20. Pack sizes differ depending on the ecosystem and prey availability. In the past, researchers have reported packs as big as 40 and there are rumors of packs even reaching 100.

Dholes have clear hierarchy in their packs with each group containing a dominant monogamous breeding alpha pair. While alpha dhole pairs are dominant, they are not excessively aggressive towards the beta pack members.

Dholes feed in order of dominance to avoid conflicts. Unlike wolves, they allow pups to eat before any of the other pack members. Dholes compete for food, not by fighting, but by how fast they can eat. An adult dhole can eat up to 4 kilograms, or 8.8 pounds, of meat in one hour.

Sources: (Carmignani; Chacon, 2000; Hance, 2015)
Image: Anuradha


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