Wolves communicate with more than 20 different dialects
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK. To do this, scientists collected 2000 screams from 13 species of canids, captive or free, and among these countries wolves, wild dogs or jackals, from different origins: India, Australia, Europe and the United States.
For their work, and rather than performing a subjective analysis based on the sound waves of the cries obtained, the researchers have developed an algorithm that quantifies certain components of the recordings, such as the tone or modulations of the screams, as explained The director of the study,
Dr. Arik Kershenbaum: "We wanted to get rid of any subjective analysis. We have therefore used mathematical techniques [...] to draw a precise and objective representation."
Through their algorithms, scientists distinguished 21 different types of howling in the wolf, similar to dialects and having their own characteristics. For example, they found that the red wolf had a more acute "voice" when its gray equivalent had a more serious cry.
The results could have a double scope. On the one hand, by allowing a better understanding of the language of the predators, which are often in conflict with the herdsmen, they could facilitate the cohabitation of the Man and the wolf. It is at this stage that the work at Cambridge should be conducted.
On the other hand, the study of howling wolves could lead to a study of human language, as Dr. Arik Kershenbaum explains, who explains that these canids present "a social structure extremely close to our own". According to him, "understanding the communication of existing social species is essential for discovering the evolutionary trajectories that led to more complex communication in the past, ultimately leading to our linguistic capacity".
This type of study tells us more about an incredible animal but above all, close to us sociologically speaking, which should participate in understanding our own species but also those around us.