When individual captive wolves were removed from their pack for long daily walks, researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna found that those left behind would individually call out more when they had a stronger relationship with the missing pack mate.
This was especially true if the absent wolf had a higher social ranking.
The howling rate was found to be directly related to how much “quality time” the howler and the missing wolf spent together.
Since the amount of howling was found to not be related to the level of the stress hormone cortisol, researchers concluded that the vocalizations are used to “maintain contact and perhaps to aid in reuniting with allies.”
Photo: Messerli Research Institute