Interspecies Conflict/Wolf question

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Question
Hello BK, Most people say a wolf is a carnivore but they eat plants and berries so wouldn't the be counted as a omnivore?What would win between a alpha male grey wolf vs a leopard?Some  scientist classify a article wolf and a Mexican wolf under gray wolves is that correct and what's your opinion on this?

Answer
Hello Hunter.

Wolves can technically be considered omnivores because their diet does include plants & berries, but they are more accurately referred to as carnivores because a vast percentage of their nutritional consumption comes from meat.  Many animals eat both meat & vegetation (and can be considered carnivores or omnivores), but official classification is determined in part by which one dominates their food intake.  Black bears primarily eat vegetation, but will consume meat from time-to-time.  They are classified as omnivores.  Wolves consume meat almost exclusively, and don't eat enough of anything else to change their designation from carnivore to omnivore.

alpha male grey wolf vs leopard: Leopards are usually heavier than wolves (by about 50%).  A large grey wolf won't typically exceed 130lbs, and an African leopard usually peaks at 200lbs.  Grey wolves are excellent pack hunters, and most confrontations with other animals involve more than just one member.  Wolves are capable one-on-one combatants, but they aren't as comfortable doing so as they are working as a group.  Wolves have better endurance than big cats, but they aren't as well-armed.  Wolves have strong jaws & sharp teeth (some for holding, some for shearing, some for crushing), but don't have any other weapons to fight with.  Leopards are solo hunters, and are very strong animals.  These cats drag their kills into trees to keep them safe from lions & hyenas, and this action requires a lot of strength.  The leopard is accustomed to battling other animals (hyenas, baboons, African wild dogs, etc.) without help, and has sharp claws (as well as jaws) to use in a conflict.  A leopard is very agile, and would be able to quickly secure a wolf with its paws and force it to the ground if the wolf got close enough.  Even if the wolf latched onto the leopard with its jaws, the leopard would be able to use its claws to counter-attack with great effect.  The smaller species of the leopard (Arabian & Amur, for example) would be a better matchup for the grey wolf than the African version.  A grey wolf occasionally encounters the cougar (which is equally as formidable as the leopard) in its habitat, and the cat usually dominates any one-on-one encounter.  A pack of wolves will easily drive a single cougar away, though.  2 wolves might be a decent match for a leopard, but one wolf won't have the ability to defeat one.  Leopard wins.

All of the largest wolves are a type of grey wolf, but they are each named as a subspecies based largely on location & appearance.  It is correct to say the Arctic wolf & the Mexican wolf are both subspecies of the grey wolf.  I don't really have a strong opinion on this, but I don't see anything wrong with how they are classified.  Many animal species get re-classified or have their classifications disagreed upon for various reasons (like the giant panda...once thought to be kin to raccoons; now considered to be kin to bears), so I don't know if anything will change with wolves.


Have a nice day!
Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

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BK

Expertise

Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.

Experience

From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Education/Credentials
Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

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