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Study: Wolves can communicate with just their eyes

Study: Wolves Can Communicate With Just Their Eyes


Ever try to talk to your friends without actually speaking? It can be a bit challenging ... which is what makes this discovery all the more impressive. A new study suggests wolves can communicate using only their eyes.


Researchers looked at pictures of almost every species and found they have a special eye-based communication system. They narrowed it down to 3 basic patterns:

Type A- the pupil position and eye position are clear.

Type B- Only the eye position is clear

Type C- the eyes are unclear.

Certain wolves, dogs and even humans identify with type-A. The researchers wrote about their findings, "A-type faces tended to be observed in species living in family groups all year-round..."

Type B is common among other wolves, foxes and dingos that tend to travel solo or in pairs, and type C was found in primitive species like African wild dogs, that live in packs, but mostly hunt alone.

This isn't an entirely new theory - scientists believe one of the reasons humans have white surrounding our irises is so we can tell what others are looking at.


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isitovryt13 June 25 2014 at 11:01 AM

Ok so this sounds goofy but I have a german Shephard and she is the smartest dog I have ever seen. I have communicated with her with my eyes in the past. If i look her in the eyes and then turn my eyes to the floor in front of me, she comes and sits down. Animals are so smart, most of the time they are more intelligent than humans. And my baby girl is so so smart. Its funny because every now and then she will have an accident in the house, not pee but the other, and its my fault because I may have not let her out before bed. Anyhow when that does happen, in the morning before my alarm goes off, like 5 or 10 mins before, she will come and cuddle next to me in bed. She knows if we cuddle then I will think of how cute she is when I see her mess up lol...so smart

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Gayle June 25 2014 at 11:03 AM

The writer of this so called article has no clue about wolves. Other than eyes there are so many subtle communication ques/body language in all animals. Before you write something as ignorant as this study up please.

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patrick June 25 2014 at 12:09 PM

All Wolves are good for is wiping out the Deer & Elk all across the western US !

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6 replies
ectullis June 25 2014 at 10:31 AM

Sounds like another professional grant recepient

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Changa80 June 25 2014 at 2:47 PM

I don't know what the big deal is. I have spoke to my grandchildren with just a look. they know just what I mean. So why can't animals do the same?

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1 reply
jaguara777 Changa80 June 25 2014 at 4:00 PM

The study of humans and the study of animals are quite different.

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edritzer June 25 2014 at 9:44 AM

This has to be one of the most poorly communicated stories I've ever read. Completely unclear what the difference is in the different eye types, and the only thing I got out of it is that different species have different looking eyes. No kidding.. really? Says absolutely nothing about the premiss of the story which is that wolves communicate with their eyes. Try again please.

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1 reply
Kate edritzer June 25 2014 at 1:51 PM

I just said nearly the exact same thing.

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bjredmond64 June 25 2014 at 11:09 AM

eyes are the window of the soul

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allstarcaps June 25 2014 at 10:27 PM

OMG! Are you city folk JUST NOW realizing this!!??? Hell, everybody who grew up around nature KNOWS that - it's one of the first things you learn about animal behavior when you're growing up...that's EXACTLY WHY Arabs always wear sunglasses during negotiations!

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tmccull52 June 25 2014 at 5:38 AM

This really isn't very surprising, considering that domestic dogs look at their owners' faces for visual cues.

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jdh0516 June 25 2014 at 4:54 PM

Wolves can communicate with just their eyes....
AND ALL THIS TIME I THOUGHT THEY JUST WHISTLED.

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