Werewolf Fact of the Day

Real Monsters
ISBN: 9781578592203

What are some anthropological reasons for werewolf legends?

  • Sometime around 140,000 years ago, wolves and primitive humans formed a common bond.
  • Humans and werewolves share a similar social structure.
  • Human beings relied on wolves, and modeled their behavior on them.

Sometime around 140,000 years ago wolves and primitive humans formed a common bond and evolved together in one of the most successful partnerships ever fashioned. The wolf's strength, stamina, keen sense of hearing, and extraordinary sense of smell helped humans to hunt prey and to overcome predators. Because we humans teamed up with wolves, we became better hunters and thus supplanted our rival species of Homo erectus and Neanderthal.

Humans and wolves share a similar social structure. Both species employ a cooperative rearing strategy for their offspring with both parents participating in the feeding and rearing process. In most mammals, the care of the young is left almost exclusively to the mother. Wolves practice fidelity and mate for life, thus setting an early model for the family structure. Wolf packs also have dominant members, like any tribe or community, and humans probably began the domestication process by assuming the role of the dominant wolf and achieving acquiescence from the lupine leader.

The human species greatly depended upon wolves for its continued existence and modeled much of their behavior, especially in the area of survival skills, upon the wolf. As these prehistoric "wolf men" learned over time to hunt in packs and, with the assistance of their wolf allies, to subdue much larger predators, then certain elements of lupine savagery may well have been "inherited" along with the more noble aspects of a sense of community and mutual support.

In the beginning of our bonding with the lupine, all men and women wanted to be werewolves--Man-Wolves. However, after a few centuries of "civilization" the human community reached a time when it would be considered improper, antisocial, and criminal to behave like a wolf. Still, there remained the sorcerers and those on the fringes of society who believed that one could attain great power by maintaining those lupine links to a more savage past. They believed that they had the ability to shape shift to werewolves--wolf men and women.

From Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside by Brad Steiger, (c) 2011 Brad Steiger Bloodcurdling, bone-chillingly fascinating, true monster stories.

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