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Nature's 10 best animal dads

By: Bryan Nelson on June 15, 2011, 1:03 p.m.
A wolf and its cub near their den.

Photo: outdoorsman/Shutterstock

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Despite their fearsome reputation as apex predators, male wolves are attentive, monogamous and fiercely protective dads that live with their she-wolves for life. A wolf pack is essentially a classic nuclear family consisting of a mom, dad and kids.

After a female wolf gives birth, she sticks close to her helpless pups and doesn't leave her den for several weeks. Dad stands guard and hunts for food to share with his new family, and doesn't skimp when it comes to sharing edibles with his progeny. Whereas a female wolf will regurgitate meat to share with a litter (pups can start eating meat at three weeks), dad will provide entire pieces of fresh kill. As a young pup grows, dad takes on the role of stern, sometimes playful mentor helping integrate the pup into the pack.