Video: Wolf in Sweden, Aros Film-  Footage: Gunnar Fernqvist

The Raven and the Wolf, A Study in Symbiosis

On their own, ravens are fearful of carcasses of animals that they wish to eat. Is it a real fear, or the suggestion of uselessness to the raven?

Ravens also have a hard time getting at meat that hasn’t already been opened up for them to feed from. About the best that they are able to do, is forage on the eyes, or perhaps an exposed tongue in an open mouth.

They will yell in the presence of an unopened carcass, which will draw wolves, and they will naturally, investigate and do what the raven wants to get into it. It benefits both of them.

Are these animals symbiotic? In a sense, they appear to be. Ravens have been observed around wolf families at rest, and have even gently pulled the tails of pups in order to get a reaction, just as they do with the adults. They will do the same with eagles, and an eagle can surely do them grievous bodily injury.


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