Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maned Wolf

Maned Wolves are the largest Canids in South America, standing nearly three feet tall on extremely long legs. It is the lone member of genus Chrysocyon, and their common named comes from a strip of hair that runs down the back of their heads and shoulders. The Maned Wolf is not especially close with Wolves or Foxes (despite looking quite fox like.) Their closest relatives are Bush Dogs.

C. brachyurus is an omnivorous species. They feed off of birds and rodents, and sometimes get in to trouble with farmers for eating domestic chickens. Maned Wolves also have a fondness for lobeira, a tomato-like fruit. They are nocturnal and do all of their hunting at night.

(Image Source)
Maned Wolves are solitary, unlike true wolves which live in packs. A pair mates for life, but they are only actually around each other during the breeding season. Other times, they share an overlapping territory that they both defend. It was long believed that only the female cares for the pups, but in captivity males have been observed grooming, feeding, and defending pups, so old beliefs may need to be reevaluated.

Maned Wolves are dwindling in number due to habitat loss and hunting. Many peoples believe that the Wolves have mystical properties, and they are killed for their magical body parts. Maned Wolves are listed as near threatened, with around 20,000 remaining.

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