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The Howl

          One of the most spectacular sounds of the wolf is the howl. Wolves may howl for many reasons. One reason might be because they are telling other wolves too stay off their territory if so they are to close, and the intruders might be attacked and killed. Another reason might be because they are mourning the lose of a loved wolf. These are only two of the interesting reasons why wolves howl.

          The howl of the wolf in many ways is interesting. Wolves howl for many different reasons. It might be because they have successfully brought down game, another might be because it has left the pack and is looking for a lone wolf like itself. Wolves howl through the mouth which is slightly opened with the lips drawn forward. A howling wolf will generally hold its head up and lay back its ears. A howling chorus will often last for up to twenty seconds. After a short breather another howl may follow so that the howling may go on for several minutes altogether. Sometimes individual wolves go on howling for hours. In that case the pauses between howls are generally long. On a calm night, howling can broadcast one hundred and twenty square miles.

          If lone wolves do meet each other by howling. They can meet, run together, perhaps mate and, if they find a unoccupied territory, successfully bring up their pups. When one wolf is separated from the pack, it may howl to indicate its location to the others, and they may howl back to show where they are. Sometimes when a wolf howls the whole pack will all of a sudden start a chorus of howling. The initial howl of an animal of low rank, for instance is a less likely to trigger a chorus of howling than that of a superior animal.

          Wolves are also able to distinguish the howling of a strange wolf (or dogs) from those known to them. Now I hope you know why wolves howl and many other interesting things I mentioned in my project. Wolves howl to communicate their position, to find other wolves, to warn intruders, to mourn, and for the fun of it. Like at Wolf Hollow, the wolves felt we were intruding on their territory and they howled to let us know.

by
Running Deer


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Running Deer's Longhouse
Information from Running Deer's Longhouse
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