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The exact emotions prompting a howl remain unknown, but scientists speculate
 
The exact emotions prompting a howl remain unknown, but scientists speculate
 
that solo howls and group howling is brought on by restlessness and anxiety.
 
that solo howls and group howling is brought on by restlessness and anxiety.
Howling occurs frequently during the season of mating and courtship. The myth
+
Howling occurs frequently during the season of mating and courtship. The myth
 
that wolves howl more often during a full moon may have arisen from the fact
 
that wolves howl more often during a full moon may have arisen from the fact
 
that on the cold and clear winter nights during courtship, the sound of a howl
 
that on the cold and clear winter nights during courtship, the sound of a howl
 
carried long and far across the landscape while a full moon lent an eerie
 
carried long and far across the landscape while a full moon lent an eerie
aspect. Wolves also celebrate by howling, after a successful hunt or when a
+
aspect. Wolves also celebrate by howling, after a successful hunt or when a
 
lone wolf returns from its wanderings.
 
lone wolf returns from its wanderings.
+
Wolves also bark, growl and whine. The bark occurs very rarely and when it
Wolves also bark, growl and whine. The bark occurs very rarely and when it
+
does, it is more like a soft "whoof" than a sharp dog-type bark. Barking also
does, it is more like a soft "whoof" than a sharp dog-type bark. Barking also
+
never occurs continuously. The bark is associated with surprise and warning.
never occurs continuously. The bark is associated with surprise and warning.
 
 
Growling occurs during food challenges and is associated with threat behavior
 
Growling occurs during food challenges and is associated with threat behavior
or assertion of rights. Pups will growl when they play. There also exists a
+
or assertion of rights. Pups will growl when they play. There also exists a
 
type of growl that begins at a higher pitch moving toward a whine and it
 
type of growl that begins at a higher pitch moving toward a whine and it
usually precedes a snapping lunge at another wolf. Whines are associated with
+
usually precedes a snapping lunge at another wolf. Whines are associated with
 
greeting, feeding the pups, play, and other signs of anxiety, curiosity, and
 
greeting, feeding the pups, play, and other signs of anxiety, curiosity, and
inquiring. These are probably the most intimate sounds.
+
inquiring. These are probably the most intimate sounds.
 
 
Postural communication is composed of a variety of facial and tail expressions
 
Postural communication is composed of a variety of facial and tail expressions
as well as piloerection (raising of the hackles). Lunging, chasing, body
+
as well as piloerection (raising of the hackles). Lunging, chasing, body
 
slamming, fighting, and more subtle gestures are all different modes of postural
 
slamming, fighting, and more subtle gestures are all different modes of postural
communication. A submissive animal may lower the body, lower the tail, turn
+
communication. A submissive animal may lower the body, lower the tail, turn
 
slightly away from the dominating animal, lay the ears back, retract the
 
slightly away from the dominating animal, lay the ears back, retract the
 
corners of the mouth in a submissive grin, or even lick the dominating animal's
 
corners of the mouth in a submissive grin, or even lick the dominating animal's
muzzle. A dominant wolf might stand over or ride a submissive one by
+
muzzle. A dominant wolf might stand over or ride a submissive one by
straddling the reclining wolf. If the subordinate does not submit, the
+
straddling the reclining wolf. If the subordinate does not submit, the
 
dominant wolf might hip slam and push down the subordinate with its paws.
 
dominant wolf might hip slam and push down the subordinate with its paws.
 
Subordinates may respond to this by rolling over on the back and even urinating
 
Subordinates may respond to this by rolling over on the back and even urinating
a few drops on itself. A stiff-legged approach from an alpha is a commonly
+
a few drops on itself. A stiff-legged approach from an alpha is a commonly
 
seen movement of dominance.
 
seen movement of dominance.
   
Mouthing another's muzzle is a friendly gesture. Even clamping down on a
+
Mouthing another's muzzle is a friendly gesture. Even clamping down on a
muzzle isn't a gesture of anger, though it might signal annoyance. Throats may
+
muzzle isn't a gesture of anger, though it might signal annoyance. Throats may
also be mouthed. Raised hackles and a raised tail can indicate annoyance. The
+
also be mouthed. Raised hackles and a raised tail can indicate annoyance. The
 
fluffing of the fur is used to accentuate certain emotions and to make the wolf
 
fluffing of the fur is used to accentuate certain emotions and to make the wolf
look more fierce. Tail twitching can indicate excitement and this motion is
+
look more fierce. Tail twitching can indicate excitement and this motion is
 
accentuated by the black tip at the end of the tail.
 
accentuated by the black tip at the end of the tail.
 
 
Little is known about olfactory cues associated with scent markings and other
 
Little is known about olfactory cues associated with scent markings and other
glandular secretions. Scent marks can be divided into four categories:
+
glandular secretions. Scent marks can be divided into four categories:
 
raised-leg urination, squat urination, defecation, and ground scratching or
 
raised-leg urination, squat urination, defecation, and ground scratching or
dirt kicking. The first category is the most important. The alpha animals
+
dirt kicking. The first category is the most important. The alpha animals
(primarily the males) make this scent mark. They are made against objects
+
(primarily the males) make this scent mark. They are made against objects
 
above ground level to ensure a large evaporative surface (this gives a stronger
 
above ground level to ensure a large evaporative surface (this gives a stronger
odor) and to keep the mark clear of rain or snow. Squat urination and
+
odor) and to keep the mark clear of rain or snow. Squat urination and
 
defecation impart a personal scent (as anal glands can be triggered), though
 
defecation impart a personal scent (as anal glands can be triggered), though
these mostly function to eliminate wastes. Dirt scratching probably serves as
+
these mostly function to eliminate wastes. Dirt scratching probably serves as
 
a visual display of dominance for the benefit of the other pack members.
 
a visual display of dominance for the benefit of the other pack members.
   
 
However, if glands in the toes are stimulated, then another olfactory message
 
However, if glands in the toes are stimulated, then another olfactory message
is left behind. Like dogs, wolves also roll in putrid substances. This serves
+
is left behind. Like dogs, wolves also roll in putrid substances. This serves
some form of communication, though what is communicated is unknown. Wolves
+
some form of communication, though what is communicated is unknown. Wolves
 
will also roll on the ground as a way of marking their scent in a location.
 
will also roll on the ground as a way of marking their scent in a location.
 
 
Wolves carry on a regular pattern of scent marking, visiting each section of
 
Wolves carry on a regular pattern of scent marking, visiting each section of
their territory on the average of once every three weeks. Wolves also scent
+
their territory on the average of once every three weeks. Wolves also scent
mark when in the pursuit of prey. Scent marks are used to warn off intruders
+
mark when in the pursuit of prey. Scent marks are used to warn off intruders
 
but they also play a role in the maintenance of a sense of spatial organization
 
but they also play a role in the maintenance of a sense of spatial organization
for the resident pack. The markings may also help wolves find open
+
for the resident pack. The markings may also help wolves find open
 
territories and loners of the opposite sex, so that new packs can be formed.
 
territories and loners of the opposite sex, so that new packs can be formed.
 
 
Male wolves will inspect the anal gland with dominant males readily presenting
 
Male wolves will inspect the anal gland with dominant males readily presenting
 
their anal parts for inspection while subordinate animals withdraw theirs or
 
their anal parts for inspection while subordinate animals withdraw theirs or
present them only reluctantly. Females rarely engage in anal inspection except
+
present them only reluctantly. Females rarely engage in anal inspection except
 
during the breeding season.
 
during the breeding season.
   
 
{{newsfiles}}
 
{{newsfiles}}
+
[[Category:News files]]
[[Category:News files]][[Category:Information about wolves]]
+
[[Category:Information about wolves]]

Revision as of 22:35, January 26, 2012

The social relationships of wolves are maintained through three types of communications: vocalization, postural signaling, and scent marking.

The exact emotions prompting a howl remain unknown, but scientists speculate that solo howls and group howling is brought on by restlessness and anxiety. Howling occurs frequently during the season of mating and courtship. The myth that wolves howl more often during a full moon may have arisen from the fact that on the cold and clear winter nights during courtship, the sound of a howl carried long and far across the landscape while a full moon lent an eerie aspect. Wolves also celebrate by howling, after a successful hunt or when a lone wolf returns from its wanderings. Wolves also bark, growl and whine. The bark occurs very rarely and when it does, it is more like a soft "whoof" than a sharp dog-type bark. Barking also never occurs continuously. The bark is associated with surprise and warning. Growling occurs during food challenges and is associated with threat behavior or assertion of rights. Pups will growl when they play. There also exists a type of growl that begins at a higher pitch moving toward a whine and it usually precedes a snapping lunge at another wolf. Whines are associated with greeting, feeding the pups, play, and other signs of anxiety, curiosity, and inquiring. These are probably the most intimate sounds. Postural communication is composed of a variety of facial and tail expressions as well as piloerection (raising of the hackles). Lunging, chasing, body slamming, fighting, and more subtle gestures are all different modes of postural communication. A submissive animal may lower the body, lower the tail, turn slightly away from the dominating animal, lay the ears back, retract the corners of the mouth in a submissive grin, or even lick the dominating animal's muzzle. A dominant wolf might stand over or ride a submissive one by straddling the reclining wolf. If the subordinate does not submit, the dominant wolf might hip slam and push down the subordinate with its paws. Subordinates may respond to this by rolling over on the back and even urinating a few drops on itself. A stiff-legged approach from an alpha is a commonly seen movement of dominance.

Mouthing another's muzzle is a friendly gesture. Even clamping down on a muzzle isn't a gesture of anger, though it might signal annoyance. Throats may also be mouthed. Raised hackles and a raised tail can indicate annoyance. The fluffing of the fur is used to accentuate certain emotions and to make the wolf look more fierce. Tail twitching can indicate excitement and this motion is accentuated by the black tip at the end of the tail. Little is known about olfactory cues associated with scent markings and other glandular secretions. Scent marks can be divided into four categories: raised-leg urination, squat urination, defecation, and ground scratching or dirt kicking. The first category is the most important. The alpha animals (primarily the males) make this scent mark. They are made against objects above ground level to ensure a large evaporative surface (this gives a stronger odor) and to keep the mark clear of rain or snow. Squat urination and defecation impart a personal scent (as anal glands can be triggered), though these mostly function to eliminate wastes. Dirt scratching probably serves as a visual display of dominance for the benefit of the other pack members.

However, if glands in the toes are stimulated, then another olfactory message is left behind. Like dogs, wolves also roll in putrid substances. This serves some form of communication, though what is communicated is unknown. Wolves will also roll on the ground as a way of marking their scent in a location. Wolves carry on a regular pattern of scent marking, visiting each section of their territory on the average of once every three weeks. Wolves also scent mark when in the pursuit of prey. Scent marks are used to warn off intruders but they also play a role in the maintenance of a sense of spatial organization for the resident pack. The markings may also help wolves find open territories and loners of the opposite sex, so that new packs can be formed. Male wolves will inspect the anal gland with dominant males readily presenting their anal parts for inspection while subordinate animals withdraw theirs or present them only reluctantly. Females rarely engage in anal inspection except during the breeding season.

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