AMAZING SYMBIOSIS OF WILDLIFE
“Did you know that since wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone, the elk herds are healthier because they have to move. The grasses are growing because the herds are digging up the ground as they move. Did you know that the coyote population has balanced out and from one wolf pack kill many animals benefit. Did you know that only 1 out of 5 to 7 wolf pack hunts for food are successful. Ask any raven, they will tell you true. “
-John Frushell, Mohawk
The wolves and ravens are both majestic animals with some kind of strength power and intense character, almost like challenging spirituality. If you think about wolves, you cant be indifferent. You either love them or hate them. The same is with ravens. Those birds are specific, authentic and remarkable. Some people feel uncomfortable when there are lot of ravens while other celebrate them as very intelligent and provoking creatures. If you go back to the pagan world, you may recognise the ability of human race to link the both animals with some invisible forces and spirits. Indeed, they are more than anything we can imagine, especially when they work in team.
Isn’t enough fascinating that wolves and ravens have established special connection in the ecosystem ? This could be defined as symbiosis for the purpose of survival but it could be also categorised as original animal friendship and cohabitation. How that works in reality? Simply, wolves and ravens share the destiny of existence in hard conditions and also they share the hunt, in almost 99,7%. The wolf researchers have monitored and studied the situation in the Case Study of Yellowstone where they concluded that wolves and ravens have a special bond, for long term goals. It is noted that wolves hunt in pack because of the strategic success but why they tolerate ravens on the dinner table. They can easily chase them and keep more food for themselves. The wildlife math is playing crazy with us. It must be a reason why wolf pack is tolerating black birds and letting them participating on the final feast. On the other side, the famous black scavengers are gifted with great eyes, radial observing possibility and watching capacity which put them on the top of safety agents of the area. This means, if ravens see the injured mammal, the possible prey, they will signalise very loud to the wolves and lead them to the potential food target.
We shouldn’t forget that ravens are known as highly intelligent birds with developed social skills and communication networking. They are great observers and they learn fast how to adapt. The scientists who work on demystifying this relations between wolves and ravens are sure that the birds found in wolves, the perfect partner in crime. One of the zoologists even wrote that ravens follow the pack and watch the internal pack behaviour and social contacts. The ravens even play with the wolf pup, grabbing sticks and teasing them to jump or to show reactions. The ravens are some kind of non-blood family to the wolves, the tolerated friends on the dinner. The ravens like the wolves and they follow them through the nature, expecting action, food and support. It is indeed an unique animal friendship that amazes the researchers, still.
Some of the legends narrates that once upon a time, the creator has turned the wolf into raven to help the other wolves during the cold winter, which means that ravens could be seen as the guardians of the wolves. It doesn’t surprise that ravens know how to mimic wolf howl, to be able to call them, when the food is around. The ravens are intelligent opportunists and they need wolves for a carcass to be fully opened since their beak is not strong as wolf jaws and claws. Even when they see food object, they will need their friends, wolves, to make the dinner delicious:”The Nordic God Odin is often represented sitting on his throne, flanked by wolves and ravens, Tales of hunting interaction, involving raven, wolf and humans, figure prominently in the storytelling of Tlingit and Inuit, Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, with the ravens appearing as form-changing wise guys and tricksters, taking advantage of both people and wolves.“
Those wolf birds, as they are called in public, know how to ensure their position in the risky environment. They pick up very wise their friends because they know that if they follow the wolves, they will never be hungry. The free food what they usually get from wolves motivate them to share the visual recognition of potential prey with wolves and to bring them to it. It is mutual benefit, perfect cooperation of the wildlife team and one awesome symbiosis. This is not so typical for animal world and when it is happening, it is pretty much original, inspirational and one of a kind.
The experts for animal behaviour don’t have all answers about this odd friendship between two different group of the critters. There are many assumptions, ideas, theories but not any of them is accurate and 100% truth. It depends on how you see those animals and if you choose completely scientific perspective one this matter or rather a touch of mystics. I love the mixture of both because I find wolves and ravens thrilling, enigmatic and super intelligent animals that know more than they show us. They have the whole new world within themselves and they are more than unveiled animals but the successful triumph of animal intelligence that works on common goal.
The wolves and the ravens know that only if they unite the skills, they are able to see benefits, to survive the cruel life challenges. That is exactly what those animals do, they merge their strength to overcome the weakness on the individual level. Something that homo sapiens forgot long time ago, the lost formula of our broken society. The humans have so much job to do, so much to learn from animal friends, before it is not too late.
4 thoughts on “WOLVES AND RAVENS: ODD TEAM OF THE NATURE”
Beautiful pictures. But I haven’t found their credits. Could you include them?
Photographers risk their lives to help the world become aware of these great creatures.
Sarah’s excellent and poignant article reminded me of ravens and wolves in Nipponese folklore…
In Nipponese mythology, 八 咫 烏 (Yatagarasu – eight span raven) was sent by the gods to intervene in human affairs. There are similarities between North American indigenous myths about ravens and wolves and their Nipponese counterparts. In Shinto belief, 狼 (okami – wolf) is a messenger of the gods and a protector of crop raiders (e.g. wild boar and deer).
One Nipponese myth or legend claims that a wolf shadowed vulnerable humans in forests to make sure they remained safe, until they reached home. Offerings of food were given in return to the wolf by the grateful individuals.
In The Tamaki Mountains (southern Honshu), villagers believed wolves to be prophetic: they claimed that wolves howled relentlessly before floods and earthquakes, to warn people; although, many organisms react to vibrations within the planet, before an event.
People saw a relationship between ravens and wolves in past centuries in The Nipponese Archipelago; similar to those referenced in Sarah’s article.
Unfortunately, it was an official policy of the central government (c. 1870-1910) to eradicate all wild wolves in the archipelago. This was done by poison, traps and firearms, mostly. By 1905, the last Nipponese wolf was seen; officially, becoming extinct in the 1920s.
What a beautiful article, Sarah !
Animals are fascinating and are truly enigmatic. There are so many mysteries about animals and their interactions that we, humans, do not comprehend, as we do not speak their language and we always try to evaluate their intelligence and behavior based on human criteria which do not apply to animals.
Thank you, Sarah, for your amazing articles that fill our heart with warmth and joy. You have a magical touch !
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I quite enjoyed your article! I shared it on MINDS!