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Wolf Behaviour -

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It is said that to look into the eyes of a wolf is to see your own soul.

Wolves have always been the stuff of myth and legend from werewolves to Little Red Riding hood....

To the mysterious Half Wolf Half Choko... Okay, we made that one up.

But do wolves really howl at the full moon like they do in the movies?

In truth, there's no connection between howling wolves and the moon. Despite those tacky gift shop

Really it's just a coincidence. Wolves hunt at dawn, dusk and the middle of the night so the moon
is usually out when they're on the job.

They howl to find each other, to gee themselves up before a hunt and to warn off other packs.

Kind of like a lupine haka.

When they howl, they lift their muzzles up to the night sky to maximise acoustics...

It helps the sound carry further... it also drives the day time animals nuts.

Because people in ancient times worshipped the moon, they figured wolves were doing the same.

To make it sound like they have more members in their pack, wolves sing in unison at multiple
pitches in a chorus of up to twelve related harmonies

Carried on the breeze their high pitched notes can be heard by other wolves up to sixteen
kilometres away.

Throughout history, myths have helped us understand and explain natural events and even though
we've debunked this one, a wolf howling at the moon still makes a great picture to air brush on the
side of your panel van.

Topics: Nature

Reporter: Mark Horstman

Producer: Nicky Ruscoe

Researcher: Nicky Ruscoe

Editor: James Edwards