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Why Do Wolves Howl?
A wolf is very similar to a dog. In fact, the wolf is counted as a ‘wild dog’. Its scientific name is Canis Lupus. Wolves are pack hunters with a fearsome reputation. The Gray wolf is the largest member of the wolf family, with males averaging 43–45 kg (95–99 lb), and females weighing 36–38.5 kg (79–85 lb). It has a similar appearance and features to a German Shepherd or a Sled dog but has a larger head, narrower chest, longer legs, straighter tail and bigger paws. Its winter fur is long and bushy, and has a mottled gray colour, although some coats have a tinge of white, red, or brownish-black.
The wolves native habitats are North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. The wolves hunt, sleep, and defend in packs from as little as 2 to as large as 12. They hunt larger prey such as deer, moose and cattle. They also eat smaller animals, livestock, carrion and garbage. The gray wolf is an apex-predator, with only humans and tigers posing a serious threat to it.
Wolves howl to defend their territory and while fighting against another pack. They also use their howl to communicate to lost members of the pack to tell them to meet somewhere. Wolves use three different strategies to howl. Firstly, they do the main, long howl to communicate. Secondly, they make different lines/waves to make it sound like there are more wolves in the pack then there really is. Thirdly, they make their howl high pitched to make other packs retreat.
Although the fear of attacks against humans are wide spread, the majority of attacks have been on animals effected by rabies. Non-rabid wolves have attacked and yet killed people, mainly children from ages 1-5, but this is unusual because wolves are relatively few, live far away from people, and have been
taught to fear humans by hunters and shepherds.
Wolves tend to kill other ‘wild dog’ relatives such as coyotes and other wolf packs. This is known because the ‘Gray wolf’ is the most studied animal /mammal in the world. A lot of wolf packs or couples have been seen terrorising or even killing coyotes over food such as dead carcasses. This happens because coyotes forage on wolves kill. Some wolf packs have been spotted digging out coyotes dens and killing their pups or ever really eating them.
Male wolves usually mark their territory by spreading urine (in other words, pee on trees). When other packs come by that particular tree, they can smell it then wander of in the direction they came from, otherwise they fight (if they don’t have any pups, young, or old wolves) that will weigh them down.
As you can see, wolves are quite a vicious predator. You can go and see them in zoos or a trip to Eurasia, North America or North Africa.