Researchers: Wolf Howling Linked to Social Structure

Howls correlate with social standing


Wolves have long been a source of fascination among humans for their complicated social structures, but new research into their howling may help to unlock some of the nuances in social behavior within packs. A new study conducted by international researchers suggests that wolf howling is more a signifier of high-level emotional bonds between wolves than of emotional stress, as many researchers previously believed.

The study, published in the most recent issue of Current Biology, indicates that wolf calls correlate with social standing and with the intensity of a wolf's relationship with another wolf. Researchers conducted the study on two different wolf packs housed at Austria's Wolf Science Center, by separating specific wolves from the rest of the group and taking the other wolves' cortisol levels to measure their stress levels.