1. Kataang
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    Kataang New Member

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    Animal Research - Who would they be?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Kataang, Feb 28, 2012.

    G'day all,

    This is my first post on the Writing Forums and I signed up primarily because - I need some help. I've been writing a novel for the past two years and although I doubt it will ever go to print, I nonetheless want to put in real time, effort and research. Now, several of my characters at one stage or another were animals and in particular, wolves. I've read a number of books where people become wolves or vice versa (David Eddings - The Belgariad & Mallorean for example) and there seems to be a universal agreement that wolves are intelligent, cunning and completely loyal. I want to go further than that though, and build my characters' personalities around the "mind" of a wolf.

    What would - in your opinion - be some of the key personality traits and ideals that a wolf-turned-human would have?
    I have some ideas; A complete disregard of fauna as a food, a general dislike of cooked meat etc.

    Any other thoughts?

    - Cheers - Kat
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wolves are social animals, so I would assume the humans would be as well - family would be important. Hierarchy/dominance is as well, so they would be leaders - and probably ruthlessly so.
     
  3. Felipe
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    Felipe Active Member

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    James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" series deals with animal/people gene splicing making bird kids an flying wolves called "Erases" that try to kill the bird kids.
     
  4. Jowettc
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    Jowettc Contributing Member

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    David Attenborough has done some fantastic natural history stuff for the BBC over the years - He would be my first choice.

    Wolves are, as stated, extremely hierarchical. There is only ever ONE Alpha Male and Alpha Female couple allowed to breed in a pack. Every other member is second to them.
    Down the chain there are further hierarchies. Every wolf below the Alpha's, defer to the Alpha's young until they reach 'maturity' at which point they then join the hierarchy - usually based on their abiity to fight for dominance.
    Females in the group tend to help babysit the young of the alphas but are not permitted to breed themselves. Unauthorised pups are most likely destroyed by the alphas.
    That said - there are always tensions between the higher ranked wolves and the Alphas - dominance is established regularly to maintain control. Hesitation is a sign of weakness.
    Younger male wolves may leave of their own accord - though unlikely, or they may be ostracised if they break any of the rules - ergo the Lone Wolf. Lone wolves usually dont live very well.

    Outside the social group they are fearless, tireless and persistent - they will run for days if they have to when chasing prey. They seldom, if ever, act alone and always act in small groups, or the larger group depending on the family size.

    In my opinion, they would be the perfect, or almost perfect fighting unit. They act with one mind and one goal. I would tend to throw in some touches e.g. that they all sleep together because it strengthens the bond between them, that they regurgitate their food for the young - which they do in the wild. They could spurn cooked meat, agreed, but not necessary. Also look at the wolf's body langauge, they way they divert their eyes from a senior member, the way they would bow and scrape - 'fawning' is extremely common and would be an intersting trait to work with...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your story. Let the characteristics reflect YOUR imagination.
     
  6. CheddarCheese
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    CheddarCheese Contributing Member

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    Hi Kataang,

    Jowettc (above) has some pretty useful information for you regarding wolf behaviorism. And the behavior of wolves isn't something that is uncommonly known; there's a bunch of places you could learn about the behavior (personality, if you will) of wolves. Wikipedia (although not always a reliable source), for example, has an entire section on behavior of the common Grey Wolf.

    Good luck!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    doing research is one of the main 'jobs' of a writer... some hate it, others love it... asking others for info is never as efficient/successful as doing the requisite research on your own... all the answers you need are out there and, thanks to the internet, easy to find...

    i suggest you start by googling for documentaries and movies about wolves... there are several excellent ones that will give you detailed insight into the mind of a wolf... do the same for books... start with jack london and work forward from there...
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    May I point out this is not really a research issue? There are no such creatures. Certainly you can do extensive research online into the social behavior (etc) of wolves, but it's entirely up to you just how much of that behavior carries over into this new species, and what total unique behaviors might emerge.

    It's not a documentary. Use your imagination.
     
  9. The Magnan
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    The Magnan Active Member

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    It's a long and complex read but the fantasy series Malazan Book of Fallen features wolves, it may inspire your imagination, if your going for a wolve in a human body sought of concept. As mentioned before though, wolves are very much pack mentality, using their knowledge, strength speed and agility to their advantage to bring down prey. I don't know much more I'm afraid but it seems other users have given you a valuable insight, so goodluck, and let your mind run wild with possiblity.
     

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