Why Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

Why Do Wolves Howl at the Moon?

Wolves interact with each other through howling. They don’t howl at the moon.

Of all the myths about wolf stalking, none is more accepted than the idea of ​​a wolf howling at the moon.

Several early civilizations, ranging back to the Stone age, have continuously paired wolves with the moon in paintings and writings, resulting in current widespread opinion.

However, in several other places around the globe, the correlation of wolves with the moon has changed over time. Wolves have little to do with the phases of the moon, contradicting popular belief. On a full moon, wolves are said to howl more constantly.

Today we will uncover this mystery and get to know why they howl.  

Why Do Wolves Howl?

Wolves are nocturnal and prefer to hunt in the moonlight, the moon is usually out when you hear wolves howl.

Before the hunt, wolves frequently congregate for a loud howl, which acts as a valuable collective experience for the whole pack. Or the wolf howls, the whole pack joins in, and then more or less together is carried away.

They can also howl when separated from other group members or lost in the wild. If the wolf gets lost, it may even howl, indicating the way. When wolves part, they will howl to find other members of their pack.

Scientists at the Center for Wolf Science in Austria reported that when wolves are parted from the other wolf with whom they have a strong connection, they howl louder.

Wolves have sometimes been observed howling at their pack members out of fondness rather than worry. This behavior is especially common during the mating season when wolves are extremely protective of their mates, cubs, and food.

In those days, wolves were much more active during the full moon than during any other phase of the moon. Due to the increased illumination, and it could just happen that people naturally heard more howling during this time, because they were nearby, too, and not slept.

If the pack breaks apart during the hunt, or if a pair of bodies are missing, the wolves will howl to reunite the group.

A wolf detached from its pack uses a Lone Howl, an abbreviated summon that increases in height. In response, the wolf responds with a deep, even howl, to inform the pack of its whereabouts.

Wolves howl to convey messages when they spot prey, mark territory, name their spouse, and when they share a call to find other pack members.

For example, when a gray wolf spots large prey or is chasing a large prey that is too large to be eaten, it looks up and howls for other pack members. If the wolf finds large prey, he can call his pack for help.

A social howl includes wolves that join nearby and bark as they correct and intensify before being hunted.

In anger, the wolf may plow its forehead, show its fangs, or growl. And, just as humans communicate by whispering, shouting, screaming, muttering, or chatting, wolves communicating by howling isn’t the only way of interaction.

While we cannot distinguish between howling wolves with normal human ears, there are differences.

Other Fascinating Facts About Wolves

Nearly every single wild dog, wolf, and even domesticated dog will howl at some point.

The scene of wolves singing toward the night sky with their heads up is as undeniable as the three-second memory of a goldfish or the color blindness of a dog (both are light).

Although they usually hear howling during the day and night, they use other types of noise such as barking, growling, whining, and howling. Wolves, like dogs, and all other animals use this noise as a means of communication.

One of the most sociable carnivores is the grey wolf. A wolf pack usually includes five to eight wolves, however, one pack has been recorded to have as many as 36. An adult pair, known as the alpha, and their children make up these family groups.

The alpha pair directs the activities of the group and takes command at important moments, like as during a hunt. Before deciding whether or not to leave its parental group behind, a young wolf may travel out on its own and explore the outskirts of its area.

Can You Live In a Wolf-infested Area Without Fear?

Absolutely. Thus, a regular, non rabid wolf is unlikely to attack you.

Wolf experts have raised questions about habituation, which can occur when wolves and people share the same space. People who intentionally leave food out in their grounds to serve wild wolves or neglect to properly dispose of the garbage throughout months when prey is limited attract disaster.

The more accustomed a wolf becomes to humans and receiving garbage treats, the more confident it will be in approaching us.

What To Do if You See a Wolf?

  • Make sure to not run. This makes you appear as a target, which is undesirable. Wolfs are hunters, so keep that in mind.
  • Keep your gaze away from the animal. This seems to be an extremely risky scenario.
  • Don’t show your back to the wolves.
  • If you’ve accidentally entered an enclosed area, slowly walk backward, keeping your back against the barrier as you move toward the exit.
  • If you appear terrified or fall, you’ll be more likely to be attacked.
  • Curl up in a ball to cover your face if situations become extremely severe.

Can You Pet Wolves?

Wolves are amazing animals, but they make lousy pets. They have nothing in common with dogs, despite their resemblance. Dogs have co-evolved with humans as pets and companions for ages.

Wolves, on the other hand, have spent the whole time hunting and slaughtering without ever thinking about interacting with humans.

They have not developed any of the dog’s features as a by-product of their domestication. Wolves, as a result, can be hazardous pets for both their owners and others.


Though it may be alarming to imagine wolves howling at the moon, these masters of communication are just interacting with their pack, spreading the word about their presence, and potentially snagging a meal, all while alerting others to stay away from their territory.

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