The howl is piercing a calm night, its terrible greatness is a signal that the wolves are close. But why and why wolves howl?
Wolves howl to establish contact with each other. Researchers found that wolves often howl on pack members with whom they spend more time. In other words, the power of relations between wolves predicts how many times the wolf howls.
To stay connected
Researchers took out one wolf at a time from the wolf pack, which was kept in a large aviary. Then they took every wolf on a 45-minute walk into the surrounding forest, recorded the howl of animals left in captivity and found out that howling was directly related to how much “high-quality time” was a Revun and a wolf led from a pack together. The quality was determined by positive interactions, such as the game and mutual grooming.
Howl is also associated with the status of each wolf in the pack. His comrades howled longer and louder when they took off the dominant animal. Dominants control the activities of the group. Excited wolves wanted to establish contact to ensure the cohesion of the pack.
But the connection between the howl and the strength of the relationship was preserved even when the factor of dominance was taken into account.
Separation and stress level
Researchers measured the levels of stress hormone cortisol in the saliva samples of each howling wolf. Scientists learned that the howling is not very attached to the level of stress. Some scientists believe that animal vocalization, such as howls, a kind of automatic reaction to a stressful or emotional state. Research has refuted the idea. Or at least stress is not the main driving force of the wolf howl.
Little is known about the wolf howh, or what information he transmits. It is difficult to study wolves, because it is not easy to grow them, packs travel long distances and for most of the history, wolves were considered predators who do not deserve research. But this attitude is changing, since more and more studies show that the wolves are quite smart and have strong family and complex social relations.
One of the functions of the howl may be to help collect all the members of the group together. The howling wolf gathers the backward or lost comrades during the hunt.
The term “lone wolf” is wrong. These animals are smart and socially communicate in the pack. If you ever are lucky to hear a wolf howl in nature, forget about romance. Collect things and leave as far as possible from one of the wildest animals in nature.