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Night howlers

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Night howlers aren't wolves....they're flowers. The flowers are making the predators go savage. That's it! That's what I've been missing!
Judy Hopps' epiphany

The Night howlers are unique flowers central to the events of Zootopia.

Background

Effects

Night howlers are capable of inflicting highly potent psychological effects on mammals; consumption or other exposure to its pollen causes a chemical reaction in the brain that decreases activity in most parts except the cerebellum, which becomes hyper-stimulated, causing the victim to lose higher reasoning functions and lash out at anything that moves. The effect of this Night howler sickness is that essentially, any mammal reverts to an aggressive, wild, violent state that is described as "Savage". A drug-like process can synthesize and concentrate this flower, by which exposure to the end product can result in long-term, if not permanent, savage condition.

As natural flowers, night howlers can outright kill smaller creatures such as insects.

Uses

They are commonly used as a natural bug repellent at Bunnyburrow, though referred to as a "Class C Botanical" by Judy Hopps, suggesting their legal status is a controlled substance. It is likely that it's considered a controlled substance, because of its neurological effects on the brain.

Assistant Mayor Dawn Bellwether ran a secret operation where she used Night howler chemicals to turn predators in Zootopia aggressive in order to make it seem as though they were biologically reverting back to their "primitive, savage ways", as part of a plan to get all predators removed from the city and have prey become the dominant species. She ran this operation with a ram scientist named Doug, who used his chemist expertise to distill the flowers' mind-altering toxin into a concentrated liquid form, which he then placed within paintball-like pellets and loaded into an air-powered sniper gun to shoot predators with.

Role in the Film

Doug-nighthowler-bullet

Doug converting Night howlers into a serum pellet

It is later discovered that the flower was central to the disappearance of 14 predators. They were discovered by police during a raid as being in a feral state and thus held captive by then Mayor Lionheart for the purpose of preventing widespread panic. The initial victims were Mr. Otterton, Mr. Manchas, and 13 other predators, who had been sniped with a highly potent, lab-synthesized Night howler serum via a dart gun by Doug Ramses.

After the police raid on Cliffside Asylum and the arrest of Lionheart, the number of savage mammals increased and an indeterminate number of other predators were darted to instigate further violence in the city, thus threatening to separate prey from predator forever.

Stu-explain-night-howlers

Stu explaining the poisonous properties of the Night howlers

Near the climax of the film, Gideon Grey reveals that his family always called the flowers "night howlers", which makes Judy realize that the flowers must be the cause of the outbreaks. She and Nick Wilde track down the thief who stole the Night howler bulbs, Duke Weaselton, and the information lead them to Doug and steal his equipment to show to the ZPD as evidence that the predators were not going savage through "natural instinct".

Bellwether-shoot-Nick

Bellwether shooting Nick with a serum pellet (later revealed to be a blueberry)

Just short of the ZPD, however, they are intercepted and cornered at the Natural History Museum by Bellwether and her henchrams, who shoot Nick with the night howler gun to make him go savage and kill Judy. However, it is revealed that Nick replaced the gun's ammo with blueberries and Judy recorded Bellwether's confession on her carrot pen to prove the predators innocent. With enough evidence, Chief Bogo and the ZPD arrest Bellwether and her accomplices and the predator and prey of the city are reunited. Later, an antidote is made for the afflicted predators.

Trivia

  • According to Judy, the night howlers are related to the crocus variety and are a class C botanical.
  • Night howlers can even affect mammals that don't have a naturally ferocious or violent disposition, as they have been mentioned to be able to turn non-predator mammals aggressive. For example, Bonnie's brother Terry once ate a Night howler whole and went berserk, attacking Bonnie and "biting the dickens out of her".
  • Victims of the Night howlers cannot spread the savage disease onto others. This was shown when a bite from a savaged rabbit did not affect Bonnie when she was younger, nor did Manchas become savage by an afflicted Mr. Otterton, despite sustaining severe cuts and slashes from the encounter.
  • As a side effect of night howlers exposure, the eyes of afflicted mammals will typically resemble those of their real-life counterparts. The most notable example of this is Mr. Manchas; he has dull green eyes with round pupils, but while under the influence of the Night howler sickness, his eyes are a much brighter green with slit pupils.
  • Night howlers' scientific name is Midnicampum holicithias.[1]
    • The word "Midnicampum" is loosely derived from Latin meaning "between the fields", while "holicithias" has Greek connotations as "all shepherd", alluding to the plant's use as a field pesticide.
      • Alternatively, the plant's nomenclature parallels the colloquial name: "Midnicampum" is similar to "midnight", "holicithias" is close to the word "howl" when pronounced phonetically.

See Also

Gallery

Wiki-wordmark
Zootopia Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Night howlers which can be found at
Night howlers/Gallery.

References

  1. Rich Moore via Twitter, April 20th, 2016
v - e - dObjects
Food
BlueberriesBogberriesCarrotsDonutsJumbo-popPawpsicleSunflower Soda
Vehicles
Doug's labFinnick's vanJudy's meter maid cartJudy and Nick's police carRainforest District gondolasZootopia Express
Weapons
Fox repellentNight howler dart gunNight howler serumTame collar
Miscellaneous
Carrot penDancing With GazelleEucalyptus caffeine pillsJeweled acornNight howlersZootopia Transit Authority

Start a Discussion Discussions about Night howlers

  • Aftermath

    • In the aftermath of the night howler crisis, the predators should thank Judy and Nick with so much smiles, while the preys wouldhave a lot to...
  • Doug Ramses

    5 messages
    • Probably. There's no reason he shouldn't. 
    • Yeah, he's just like any other animal, so it would have the same effect on him.

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