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Understanding Wolves Through Their Behavior

readtheanimalguideMay 15, 2019, 9:57:24 PM

Communication among wolf pack members occurs through certain evolved behaviors and postures that control hostility among themselves. Body language is what allows the pack to live more harmoniously as a community. Find more info on this  page.

Emotions are usually expressed through facial expressions. Wolves may assert dominance by showing their teeth and pointing their ears forward. Opposite behavior is often demonstrated with shut mouths, narrowed eyes and ears tucked back. Wolves may also communicate emotion through the position of their tails. Aggression evident in tails held high at a nearly 90-degree angle, submission is expressed with tails pulled back between the legs.  Click here for more info : rockymountainwolfproject.org.

A wolf’s sense of smell is stronger than any human’s by about 100,000 times and plays a big role in communication as well. Under favorable conditions, a wolf can smell something from a distance of a mile or even more. Communication among wolves is highly effective through scent. Wolf packs are extremely territorial and depend considerably on scent to define territorial parameters, defend themselves against other packs, and impress food ownership. It also serves as a geographical compass and to announce its presence long after moving to another area within its territory. Scent marking is usually done with urine and from glands between their toes.

Wolves also communicate vocally through various types of sounds, such as whines, growls and their proverbial howls. Though wolves can howl for many other yet unknown reasons, scientists have found that this behavior is mainly done to gather their pack, claim territory, warn trespassers, or to recognize other wolves. Wolves also usually howl early in the morning and at night, during breeding season (halfway into winter), and when pups are young (summer). It is not true that wolves howl at the moon as depicted in many movies, but they do raise their snouts when they howl to carry the sound over a greater distance. Wolves have impeccable hearing as well, which allows them to hear a howl from up to six to ten miles away.

One wolf’s howling session can last for about 35 seconds and an entire pack’s can continue for as long as 85 seconds. Alpha wolves generally howl at a lower pitch and more frequently than the more subservient ones. Lone wolves may not howl less to evade other territorial wolf packs.

Finally, aside from the high-pitched howl attempts by pups, wolf howls rarely, if at all, include barking. Whining at the den site is normally done by adult female wolves and is believed to be an expression of affection. Growls signify aggression and are often heard from a hostile dominant male.  Click here for more : https://www.britannica.com/animal/wolf.