The Singing Dog’s Language, Part II

The properties of sound and bioacoustics tell us a little bit more about why vocalizations are so widely used by the animal kingdom. When your partner, parent, offspring, or friend is too far away to wave at, what else is there to do? Give ’em a shout!

The fact that animals have evolved the ability to communicate over long distances via sound has opened up a whole new world of behavioral possibilities. Last time we touched upon how coyotes use growls, woofs, and barks to talk to each other across short to medium distances, but what do they use to reach pack members that are much further away?

Enter the howl, the coyote’s infamous piercing call. Howling serves a wide variety of purposes for North America’s most vocal land animal, announcing to others in the pack where the howling individual is. After calling back and forth coyotes can locate each other and engage in group yip-howls, which begin as a pack reunites or is about to split up to go hunt.

Group yip-howls also seem to be important for the social structures of these social creatures, strengthening bonds between those calling together and reinforcing social status within the pack. Have you ever absolutely nailed a karaoke duet with a friend? Guess coyotes like that feeling, too!

Aaron Huelsman

Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *