Scientists unravel mystery why wolves cry

Why animals make noise? What they suggest? Austria-based scientists have discovered that the lonesome howl of the wolf doesn’t mean the animal is sad or distressed but it actually expresses the quality of relationships between the wolves.

The researchers based at Austria’s Wolf Science Centre said wolves howl more when a close companion or high-ranking group member leaves.

The findings, published in Current Biology, suggest the wolf’s howl is explained by social factors rather than physiological ones such as stress.


The study further explains relationships of wolf within its pack. Wolves are considered to be social creatures.

“Our results suggest the connection of social factor more in the howling behaviour than the emotional one in the wolf,” says Prof Friederike Range of the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna.

The researchers also suggested that the wolves make such sound to provide a sound-based beacon to help the wandering wolf find its way back to the safety of the pack.


Hazel Bender

About Hazel Bender

Working out of the suburbs of Houston Texas, Hazel has had stints awith some of the foremost independent news media out of Dallas and Austin before joining our team as one of our two in house editors. She's responsible for reviewing everything that goes up on this site. She's our quality control person even though she often chips in with her fair share of articles. She's a geek at heart and loves Gadgets, technology, fashion and celebrity news.

  • Crimelister

    I live with a wolf and it howls like a trumpet when I’m not at home. Now I know that it is actually “sound-based beacon to help the wandering ME find its way back to the safety of the pack”.

    • Hrothgar331

      And, what do your neighbors think when they expect some quiet in your absence?

      • Crimelister

        I am happy not to share my land with anyone who can be against it. Anyway they have dogs, cows, hens, horses, kids: every living creature makes some noise. So why not to add wolf’s howl? And sincerely, the distances between houses are huge. Nobody complains. That’s not America :)

      • Anne Springer

        Hopefully, they’d excuse a bit of wolf noise. After all, some of them might have children who scream or cry now and then;-) Why can’t we all just get along and forgive the noises of a joyful life.

  • Eric Campbell

    I already knew this, why is this “new” to anyone, I mean come on….

  • jas ule

    Who actually thought it was do to emotion? Austria scientists could have saved some money and called a random number and gotten the answer on this one…

  • Sam Davis

    We could hear the wolves howling outside our window when we stayed on a lake NE of
    Heyward, WI. Unforgettable sound. Thanks for the article

  • Spanky

    What is the author’s first language?
    It certainly isn’t English…

  • Hrothgar331

    That writer needs an editor:

    “Why animals make noise? What they suggest?”

    ……as in, “Why DO animals…” and also, “What DO they….”

  • smatthews1999

    Scientists are lonely and are obviously projecting… Who pays for this “research” ???