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Le printemps appelle à un changement de garde-robe pour les loups

Happy_spring_2017_sm

Today is the first day of spring! Although the official start to spring can be found on the calendar, subtle cues from Mother Nature are indicators too! Ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, Nikai and Zephyr are telling us that spring has sprung – they’ve begun to shed their winter coats.

undercoat
Un échantillon de la sous-couche isolante

In the coming weeks, their insulating undercoats will begin to fall from their bodies like sheets of soft wool to allow them to live comfortably during the dog days of summer. What triggers the shedding process? This time of year both male and female wolves have rising levels of a hormone called prolactin. Prolactin levels increase with the onset of long days, and during the short days of winter the hormone levels decrease. It is believed that prolactin has many key roles.

Des niveaux élevés de l'hormone contribuent à ce qui suit :

  • Development of the mammary gland for expectant wolf mothers 
  • Maintenance of lactation – helps milk production in wolf mothers 
  • Promotion of parental behavior in both males and females and thus enhances pup survival 
  • Shedding of the undercoat! 

Ainsi, des jours plus longs modifient la composition chimique des loups et contribuent à garantir qu'ils passent les mois de printemps et d'été dans le confort de leurs meutes heureuses et saines.