Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Short-eared Dog

Atelocynus microtis
The Short-eared Dog is one weird Canine. Though sometimes also called the Short-eared Fox, they are close relatives of neither domestic dogs or foxes. They actually belong to their own separate genus, apart from any other current living Canid.

Short-eared Dogs look just as their name suggests-- they have small rounded ears. They also have very fox-like faces and bushy tails, but short little legs. You can find them living in the undisturbed lowland rainforests of South America, where they live a solitary lifestyle.

As with most dogs, this species is mainly a carnivore, though they will also eat fruits. They also have the interesting distinction of having females that are about 1/3 larger than the males! Unfortunately, not much else is known about their behavior, including their exact reproductive habits. We also don't even know how long their lifespan is!

Short-eared Dogs are listed as Near Threatened, due to habitat loss and degradation. It is estimated that there are only 15,000 left in the wild.

IUCN Status : Near Threatenened
Location : South America
Size : Height up to 1ft (30cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Canidae -- Genus : Atelocynus -- Species : A. microtis

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