African Wild Dog
The African Wild Dog (also known as the Painted Dog) is a medium sized species of canine found across sub-Saharan Africa. The African Wild Dog is most easily identified from both domestic and other wild Dogs by their brightly mottled fur with its name in Latin aptly meaning painted wolf.
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African Wild Dog
The African Wild Dog (also known as the Painted Dog) is a medium sized species of canine found across sub-Saharan Africa. The African Wild Dog is most easily identified from both domestic and other wild Dogs by their brightly mottled fur with its name in Latin aptly meaning painted wolf. The African Wild Dog is said to be the most sociable of all the canines living in packs of around 30 individuals. Sadly however this highly intelligent and sociable animal is severely under threat in much of its natural habitat primarily due to habitat loss
African Wild Dog Anatomy and Appearance
The most distinctive feature of the African Wild Dog is its beautifully mottled fur which makes this canine very easy to identify. The fur of the African Wild Dog is red black white brown and yellow in colour with the random pattern of colours being unique to each individual. It is also thought to act as a type of camouflage helping the African Wild Dog to blend into its surroundings. The African Wild Dog also has large ears a long muzzle and long legs with four toes on each foot. This is one of the biggest differences between the African Wild Dog and other canine species as they have five. They also have a large stomach and a long large intestine which aids them in more effectively absorbing moisture from their food.
African Wild Dog Distribution and Habitat
African Wild Dogs are found naturally roaming the deserts open-plains and arid savanna of sub-Saharan Africa where the range of the African Wild Dog has decreased rapidly. It is thought that the African Wild Dog was once found in nearly 40 different African countries but that number is much lower today at between 10 and 25. Now most African Wild Dog populations are primarily restricted to National Parks across southern Africa with the highest populations found in Botswana and Zimbabwe. African Wild Dogs require large territories to support the pack with pack sizes having in fact dropped in number with their decreasing home-ranges.
African Wild Dog Behaviour and Lifestyle
African Wild Dogs are highly sociable animals that gather in packs of generally between 10 and 30 individuals. There is a strict ranking system within the pack led by the dominant breeding pair. They are the world's most sociable Dogs and do everything as a group from hunting for and sharing food to helping sick members and assisting in raising young. African Wild Dogs communicate between one another through touch movement and sound. Pack members are incredibly close gathering together before a hunt to nose and lick each other whilst wagging their tails and making high-pitched noises. African Wild Dogs lead a crepuscular lifestyle meaning that they are most active during dawn and dusk.
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