Why do wolves howl at the moon?

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Have you ever heard a wolf howling at the moon? It’s a pretty unmistakable sound! So, why do wolves like the moon so much and always howl at it??

Mythology and the imagination of the masses have created a popular belief that there is some sort of connection between wolves and the moon—that when the wild canines howl, it’s directly and deliberately at the Earth’s natural satellite. It’s a romantic concept, for sure—one we certainly enjoy telling the kids—but hardly the case in reality. The presence of the moon when a wolf howls, as it turns out, is purely coincidental and circumstantial.

The answer is that scientists have found that wolves’ howling doesn’t actually have very much (if anything) to do with the moon. Most likely, the reason we associate the howling with the moon is that wolves are more active on bright, clear nights, so we mostly hear them howling on nights when we can also see the moon. It’s probably just a coincidence that the two so often occur together!

In truth, most researchers have found that wolves’ howling is much more about communicating with each other. Howls are used by wolves to say many things – they can express happiness, loneliness, or can be a way of letting other wolves know where they’re at! And even though they’re most famous for howling, wolves can also bark, yelp, growl, and whimper!

 

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